DA NANG (VNS)— The Ministry of Transport would revise and supplement regulations and documents on how to speed up private funding of bus stations throughout the country, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho told a conference yesterday.
It's the first time a conference has been held to review the operation of bus stations that have private investors and shareholders.
"The conference was held to hear opinions from owners and managers of bus stations nationwide. They spoke about some of the concerns and problems they face in the operation of bus stations, so the ministry plans to create more favourable conditions to boost the privatisation process towards 2020 with a vision to 2030," Tho said.
"The Ministry of Transport will build a standard bus station model to apply nationwide to improve services and safe transportation," he said, adding that priority would be given to information technology applications.
"We try to offer the same service in bus stations as passengers are used to in airports."
Head of the Transport Department under the ministry, Khuat Viet Hung, said only 231 out of the country's 457 bus stations had followed the Law of Enterprises since it was issued in 2005.
"The figure accounts for just 47 per cent. The delay is due to poor management by local departments and a lack of priority policies from the Government to boost investment and management from the private sector," Hung said.
"Investors still complain that land clearance and allocation procedures are major obstructions, and local departments of transport have not adopted the policy or planned public bus routes to connect bus stations," he said.
Le Viet Hoang, general director of the Da Nang Bus Station Joint Stock Company, said the Government should give land tax exemption for investors or issue management models to control bus stations.
"We launched a bus station in 2009 with initial capital of VND50 billion (U$2.4 million). It provides services for 1,500 buses on 80 routes each day. However, the station only operates at 30 per cent of its designed capacity," Hoang said.
"We invested in the first electronic station in Viet Nam with a series of IT applications including GPS, around-the-clock camera monitoring and electronic ticket sales, as well as a clean and safe service," he added.
Last year, the Ministry of Transport recognised the bus station in Da Nang as the first electronic bus station in Viet Nam.
Deputy Minister Tho said the ministry would boost IT applications in the management of bus stations nationwide.
According to the city's department of transport, 1,300 buses and 879 trucks have already installed GPS tracking equipment.
The country has over 3,100 enterprises and co-operatives working in passenger and cargo transport, with 102,000 buses and 620,000 trucks. But 70 per cent of businesses have poor management, services and short-term investment plans. — VNS