|Passengers of SE6 train at Vinh train station in the central province of Nghe An. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI (VNS) — Who will select to take a train if the price of a railway ticket is higher than a plane ticket, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang asked participants at a conference on Tuesday to discuss production plans in 2016 organised by Viet Nam Railways (VNR).
He stated plane and bus ticket prices on the Pleiku-Ha Noi route were VND280,000 and VND250,000 respectively while railway costs were higher.
In order to increase competitiveness in the race between passenger transportation sectors, the minister asked VNR to reform firmly.
At the conference, the minister said the railway corporation needs to strengthen financial sources, aiming at improving the railway system and reducing the ticket cost.
This year, the railway sector will continue co-operating with the Ministry of Transport to invest in railway infrastructure, carriage and goods wagons.
The railway corporation should choose priority routes for future investment, he said.
The lower price of oil and petrol in the world is an advantage to push Viet Nam's railway sector to implement its reforms soon.
The minister valued the efforts of service improvement that foreign and domestic train passengers have praised in recent years.
The improvement of service quality, proper train schedules and the firm implementation of restructuring have helped the railway corporation to earn income of VND11.6 trillion ($516 million) with profit of VND65 billion ($2.9 million).
At the conference, VNR Chairman Tran Ngoc Thanh admitted that it didn't complete the plan to build 300 automatic barriers last year.
While the railway corporation maintains a large number of employees, income is low with a driver's monthly salary at about VND4 million ($178) to VND5 million ($222). — VNS