|A traffic jam in HCM City's Binh Thanh District. Municipal authorities say the city needs to persist with 12-16 seat buses to ply narrow roads. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — City authorities have asked the Ministry of Transport for permission to continue the use of public buses with 12 to 16 seats.
In 2006, the Government issued Decree 110 that called for a minimum of 17 seats for public buses nationwide, but HCM City was allowed to use hundreds of existing 12-seat buses until the end of their estimated lifespan.
Most of these 12-16 seat buses in HCM City will operate until 2018 or 2019, depending on their condition.
The Transport Ministry said it would consider the city's request and further it to the Prime Minister for approval.
About 69 per cent of HCM City's streets are under seven metres wide and large buses cannot be used, the department said.
Large buses operating on these streets often cause traffic jams as well.
The city department said the Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO) would manufacture 12-16 seat buses that would have beautiful designs and comply with all safety regulations.
SAMCO has submitted its designs to the city government, Pham Quoc Tai, deputy general director of SAMCO, said. — VNS