Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Physical barriers will be installed on Hà Nội’s roads on a pilot basis to make the bus rapid transit (BRT) system more effective.
The plan, which has got a nod from the city People’s Committee, is expected to be implemented before Lunar New Year (January 26).
As of now, the dedicated BRT lanes are indicated through road markings and signs and are managed by the traffic police.
Barriers will now be installed to prevent other vehicles from entering the BRT lanes and slowing down the purportedly fast public transport system. The city is introducing BRT to try and reduce rush hour traffic.
The installation of physical barriers on roads in the BRT route has proved to be successful in big cities such as Jakarta, Indonesia, where the BRT system has provided an effective traffic solution.
Experts have a word of caution, though. The plans to set up barriers should be studied carefully as roads in the city are already heavily congested during peak hours, they said. The risk of accidents is higher on such roads, and the barriers will affect traffic regulations if there are jams.
Nguyễn Hoàng Hải, director of Hà Nội Public Transport Management and Operation Centre, said barriers would be set up at some places from the bus shelter to the next intersection to limit lane encroachment.
In the future, the city’s transport department will install warning systems at intersections and fine violators to discourage lane encroachment, Hải said.
The city’s first BRT route became operational on January 1. The 14-km route runs along the streets of Ba La, Quang Trung, Lê Trọng Tấn, Tố Hữu, Lê Văn Lương, Láng Hạ, Giảng Võ, Giang Văn Minh and Cát Linh. The bus is expected to complete its one-way journey within 30-45 minutes.
People have responded positively to the BRT system, statistics from the Hà Nội Transport Corporation shows, with around 130,000 passengers using it in 10 days.
Under Government Decree No 46/NĐ-CP, issued last year, a biker will be fined VNĐ300,000 to 400,000 (US$13-17) if caught driving in the BRT lane deliberately. The fine is VNĐ800,000 to 1.2 million ($35-52) for cars. — VNS