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VietNamNews

City's public transport system set for expansion

Update: February, 28/2013 - 03:16

HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City plans to have 10 urban railway routes, 210 bus routes and six bus rapid transit routes by 2025, according to a plan developed by the Transport Department.

The transport plan, which has been submitted to the municipal People's Committee for approval, said that there would be three kinds of bus routes: main axis, branch and collection.

Main axis routes will run on the city's major transport corridors, while branch routes will connect the centre of areas with main axis routes.

Collection routes will run on small roads and alleys to collect passengers. Small-size buses will be used for these routes.

The different routes are needed because the city has many alleys and residential areas of different sizes, according to Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the Transport Department.

Of the ten urban railway routes, five will depart from the city centre to all major gateways.

The city will also have three tram routes that will link city centre areas.

The plan calls for subsidy policies for a public transport system. Top priorities will be given to a land fund for transport development, according to Thanh.

The land fund, which is about 1,873,000sq.m, will be used to build public-transport facilities, including bus and taxis stations.

The city's Department of Transport has also petitioned the Transport Ministry to issue criteria to build lanes used only for buses.

Based on the criteria, the city will set up bus lanes to increase service quality.

The HCM City bus system authority plans to offer ethics courses to drivers and cashiers in a move to attract more city residents to the most popular means of public transport.

The new courses, organised by the city Management and Control Centre for Public Passenger Transportation, aim to train drivers and cashiers to behave properly to passengers.

In a survey conducted by the centre last year, 24.6 per cent of passengers said they did not feel comfortable with bus staff.

Commuters in the city described buses as a "street evil," saying drivers went too fast and neglected to stick to the schedule.

Buses have been involved in many accidents in the city, the surveyed stressed.

Le Hai Phong, director of the centre, said that convincing city dwellers that bus employees will treat them responsibly will encourage more to opt for public transit.

He said the centre had already worked with private bus companies to offer such courses last year, but results from the training had not really taken effect.

Phong said the training would be implemented simultaneously with new ethics code compliance agreements between businesses, drivers and cashiers.

The centre also plans to invest in more new vehicles and upgrade bus stations and electronic timetables.

While a monorail and metro system are under construction, buses will remain the major means of public transport until they are completed in 2020, according to the city Transport Department. — VNS

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