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HCMC considers taxi stations to ease traffic

Update: March, 10/2012 - 10:30


Taxis in HCM City caused too much traffic chaos when picking up and dropping off customers, according to the municipal transport department. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have come up with a radical proposal to unclog city roads – allowing taxis to pick up passengers only at designated points rather than cruise around looking for them.

Deputy chairman of the People's Council, Nguyen Huu Tin, on Thursday called on the Department of Transport to consider the proposal.

The city's large taxi fleet is a major cause of traffic chaos since their number has surged far ahead of the infrastructure capacity.

The city's development plan envisaged limiting the number to 9,500 by 2015. But there are already more than 13,000, or slightly more than the number for 2020.

As a result of lack of parking space, taxis park on pavements and even roads.

The department said taxis caused traffic disorder by picking up and dropping customers on roads.

The Department of Planning and Architecture last year called for creating taxi pick-up stations saying this would not only ease traffic congestion but also save fuel.

The proposal has sparked off a debate about its feasibility.

A taxi company executive told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that people are used to being picked up and this habit is not easy to change.

Taxi companies also wondered if sick people can walk to the stations.

Le Trung Tin, head of the transport department's Transportation Management Office, said he supported the proposal since it would save fuel since taxis no longer have to cruise around looking for customers.

The department said the new system could be inconvenient for some but would be good overall by helping resolve the pressing problem of traffic chaos.

Le Bao Toan, deputy general director of Vinasun, one of the leading taxi companies, told the newspaper that to make this project feasible, the department and other relevant bodies need to make people aware of pick-up stations, which need to be conveniently located close to residential areas.

It is also necessary to make it fair for all taxis at the stations, Toan said, adding the system should first be piloted in some places. — VNS

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