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Hai Phong authorities pledge to improve pitiful bus service

Update: July, 27/2012 - 10:20


A bus picks up passengers in Hai Phong City's Do Son District. Nearly a quarter of the city's buses are out of action. — VNS File Photo
HAI PHONG — Bus companies are facing difficulties in northern Hai Phong City with nearly a quarter of the buses off the road and 75 per cent of the regular routes either closed down or running intermittently.

The situation has prompted the People's Committee to come up with a VND234 billion (US$11.2 million) proposal to improve bus transport in the city.

At present only 90 of a total 129 buses are still running on six out of 13 routes and of those six routes, four have irregular timetables.

The city Transport Department said the bus service carried 6 million passengers a year, only 1 per cent of the potential demand of nearly 600 million passengers.

Business turnover was decreasing and service was deteriorating, he said.

People's Committee Vice Chairman Le Van Thanh said one of the reasons for the drop was that people had lost the habit of travelling by bus, causing a fall in patronage.

The lack of overall management and subsidies for bus companies and an unsynchronised transport infrastructure had contributed to the situation, he said.

Only two bus routes received a subsidy – VND2 billion ($96,000) each – compared to Ha Noi which provided a total subsidy of VND1.2 trillion ($57.6 million) a year, he said.

The committee's proposal was to improve public transport by 2016 with a vision to meet 15-20 per cent of demand by 2020.

If approved by the People's Council, the project would be funded by VND85 billion ($4 million) from the local budget, VND62 billion ($2.9 million) from Official Development Assistance and VND86 billion ($4.1 million) from public transport enterprises. — VNS

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