Viet Nam News
HẢI PHÒNG — The northern port city of Hải Phòng’s Department of Transport has planned to gather hundred of coaches at one station, which has met with opposition from the owners of the vehicles.
The department recently proposed to the city’s People’s Committee to transfer 144 inter-provincial coaches that were operating at Cầu Rào, Niệm Nghĩa and Lạc Long stations to Thượng Lý Bus Station in the inner district of Hồng Bàng.
The large number of coaches coming in and out of these three stations has worsened traffic and caused traffic jams in the city’s central areas during peak hours, according to the department.
The stations and coach operating companies whose vehicles are running from the central province of Nghệ An to the southern region have objected to the proposal, the Vietnamnet online newspaper reported.
Trần Mạnh Hùng, vice director of the Trường Anh Petroleum JSC – owner of the Quốc Tuấn coach operator whose coaches are parked at the Cầu Rào Bus Station, said he did not agree with the department’s proposal since his buses were not running through the city’s centre.
“After leaving the station, our coaches immediately reach National Route 5, then National Route 10, and then National Route 1,” he said. “We operate during off-peak hours between 8pm and 5am of the next day, so it cannot be said that we are causing traffic congestion.”
Hùng said his company has invested some VNĐ35 billion (US$1.5 million) on nine coaches with beds, which have been parked at the Cầu Rào Station for years.
“Transferring to another station would put us at risk of having to sell the coaches and not being able to pay off our debts of billions of đồng,” he said.
Trần Văn Sang, representative of the Thanh Sang operator, said that the proposal to move the buses out of the Cầu Rào Station is “abnormal and unreasonable”.
“The station is located near several colleges, universities, residential areas, ports and industrials parks, which gather lots of people from the central and southern regions, who come here to study and work,” he said.
Đỗ Văn Toán, head of the Cầu Rào Station, said transferring the buses to the Thượng Lý Station would be “taking a backward step”.
“It’s not a coincidence that all coach operators chose to park at the Cầu Rào Station,” he said. “It is to reduce distance and cut travel costs for traffic participants.”
“If the proposal is approved, citizens will have to use personal vehicles and take taxis or xe ôm to get to this new station, which will cause even more traffic congestion in the city,” he said.
The 11,000sq.m Thượng Lý Bus Station was launched in May last year. It has not been favoured by coach operators and is struggling with 77 bus rides per day. — VNS