The HCM City Department of Transport will designate nine pick-up and drop-off points early next year for buses plying eastward in an effort to root out illegal bus stations and unlicensed transport firms. — Photo vietq.vn
HCM City — The HCM City Department of Transport will designate nine pick-up and drop-off points early next year for buses plying eastward in an effort to root out illegal bus stations and unlicensed transport firms.
Now regular buses are only allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the starting and end points, which causes them great inconvenience.
Starting in early 2017, in preparation for the Lunar New Year, District 2 will have two way stations, District 9 will have three along Hà Nội Highway, and Thủ Đức District will have four on Hà Nội Highway and National Highways 1 and 13.
“This is an effort to cope with illegal stops and unlicensed buses, which are mushrooming in the city,” the government website quoted a department official as saying.
Unlicensed buses often pretend to have signed tourism contracts to avoid going to designated bus stations, he said.
“Unlicensed buses now have their own booking switchboards and websites to sell tickets in advance,” the official said.
“They don’t go to bus stations, don’t pay fees, don’t pay taxes and offer unfair competition to those who follow the law.”
In a report to the Government, HCM City said it reduced the number of illegal bus stops from 148 last year to 85 now, but admitted that 27 of them are at unsafe spots that also block traffic.
The city has 724 transport firms which operate over 21,400 buses.
This year authorities fined 3,765 buses a total of VNĐ5.7 billion (US$256,000) for stopping illegally en route and cancelled 255 licences.
“Illegal stops and unlicensed transport firms have created an unhealthy business environment, causing customers to suffer,” the official said.
They contribute to social disorder and cause revenue losses to the Government and traffic congestion, he added.
The department has been instructed to review all route management data culled from GPS devices installed in all buses.
“HCM City has bus stations in four directions, so we will consider a comprehensive plan to properly connect routes and make it convenient for passengers,” the official said.
To deal with the proliferation of illegal stops and unlicensed buses, especially during the upcoming Lunar New Year – in late January 2017 – the department held a meeting with related authorities to discuss solutions such as regulating what kind of buses must go to inter-provincial bus stations, eliminating the 85 illegal bus stops, pointing out the responsibilities of related authorities and setting up task forces to manage transport activities. – VNS