Vũ Văn Viên, director of Hà Nội’s Department of Transport, speaks to the newspaper Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economy and Urban Affairs) about the city’s determination to solve the problem of traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
What are the main points in the proposal on transport in Hà Nội from 2025-2029?
The proposal was jointly developed by the Hà Nội Department of Transport and the Institute of Strategy.
The proposal has been upgraded into a draft resolution by the Hà Nội People’s Council, which will be presented to the Hà Nội People’s Council in July for discussion.
The proposal divides the city’s transport modes into two groups: private and public, and suggests six key management measures. These include quantity management; quality management; scope of activities of the transport means; developing and improving the efficiency of the public transport system; IT application in management, and strengthening State management in the transport sector.
Does the proposal prohibit motorbikes in the inner city?
One of the key objectives of the proposal is to cut down individual means transport to solve the problem of congestion and environmental pollution. The document includes a road map for reducing the number of motorcycles in the inner city by 2030.
For example, from 2017-2020, we’ll focus on research and develop technical standards and criteria for motorcycle exhaust. We’ll then conduct a study on which year the motorcycles were manufactured and their quality. Based on the collected information, we’ll then come up with proposals on how to deal with them.
From 2025-2029 we plan to come up with a pilot proposal to let motorcycles to run on certain hours and on certain days on some thoroughfares, as well as in some central municipal areas. By the year 2030, motorcycles will be banned from all the city’s inner districts.
Does the proposal contain any measures to replace motorcycles?
By that time, we will have various modern means of public transport, including the urban light rail, buses and the BRT. By 2030, public transport will be able to serve up to 55 per cent of the transportation demand. In addition, the city will have more walking space for pedestrians. I’m confident that from now till 2030 we’ll have plenty of time for people to get used to living without motorcycles in the inner city.
Do you think banning obsolete motorcycles by 2030 will have a negative impact on people?
Though the Government and the Ministry of Transport have not yet come up with any decision on the fate of obsolete motorcycles, the Hà Nội city authorities deem it necessary to take these motorcycles off the roads. Of course, to do this, the city authorities have to work out a plan to support owners financially to compensate for their losses.
What about other means of transport?
For private cars, we’ll introduce two measures: administrative and economic. For example, in certain areas, cars will be banned while in some inner city areas, entrance fees will be charged or high parking fees.
For business vehicles, we’ll come up with a specific plan to make sure that the number will be on par with the city’s infrastructure capacity. In the near future Grab and Uber will be managed as regular taxis.
Do you think that it is the right time to come up with the proposal?
All cities need workable management policies for their transport means. Of course, the policies must be suited to local conditions and infrastructures. In my opinion, it is high time for Hà Nội to adopt effective management measures to ensure good traffic flow while protecting the environment. — VNS