|The conference in HCM City discusses improving the transport system and reducing traffic congestion. – VNS Photo Việt Dũng|
HCM CITY – HCM City should look into developing its traffic system, a conference heard in HCM City at the weekend.
Vũ Anh Tuấn, director of the Vietnamese – German University’s Transportation Research Centre, said the people using public transport is limited due to low accessibility and a habit of using private vehicles.
Only less than 25 per cent of people live within 500 metres of upcoming metro stations as against the international standard of 70 per cent, he said.
The city should look into implementing the transit oriented development (TOD) model under which urban planning revolves around public transportation, he said.
Thickly populated commercial areas could come up around public transport hubs under this model with urban planning ensuring pedestrian-friendliness and easily access to public transport.
“TOD can get more people to use public transportation, reducing private vehicle use and enabling sustainable urban development.”
This model has been applied successfully in other large cities around the world, and HCM City should focus on this model in the near future, he said.
An official from the Southern Transport Engineering and Design JSC said Tân Sơn Nhất Airport and Cát Lái Port, two of the city’s key logistics elements, are seeing frequent congestion due to high demand and lack of wide roads around them.
He said the city should widen roads like Trường Chinh and Tân Kỳ – Tân Quý streets around the airport and speed up construction of the Mỹ Thủy intersection to improve traffic around Cát Lái Port.
Phạm Xuân Mai, a member of the HCM City Bridges - Roads – Ports Association’s executive committee, said the city lacks expressways, and while it is set to get new roads, the number of cars are also set to increase hugely.
“Traffic congestion will still be inevitable in the near future if other transport methods cannot ease the pressure.”
Establishing an urban railway network in HCM City linked with the national network would be an effective way to transport passengers and cargo, he added.
Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said “Traffic development needs to lead to the city’s economic development.”
Lack of funding
Trần Quang Lâm, director of the city Department of Transport, said insufficient funding is hindering transport development, and attracting private investment is important.
The city has only completed 35 per cent of its transport development plan for 2020 and beyond announced in 2013.
Only two out of six expressways in the plan have been finished, with a third to be completed by 2025.
Other tasks such as upgrading national highways and building urban railways are progressing slower than planned.
He said HCM City should consider a wide variety of public-private partnership models to attract investors, utilising models used around the world such as design, build, finance, operate and transfer and build, own, operate, transfer.
"Public investment by itself is not enough for traffic infrastructure development. Good planning will still be hindered if there are no appropriate and disruptive investment methods." – VNS