|Ministry of Transport has ordered agencies to stop making coaches register their routes individually, following endless complaints from coach companies. — Photo vietnamplus.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has ordered agencies to stop making coaches register their routes individually, following endless complaints from coach companies.
Coach carriers voiced their irritation in a meeting with the minister in Ha Noi on Monday, saying they were not allowed to park their buses at stations unless they asked the localities' Departments of Transport at their starting and ending points for permits.
Authorities used these procedures to control inter-provincial coach transport, but now it is seen as overlapping a recently issued national plan for trans-provincial bus routes. The plan will require bus companies to register the number of buses they'll run and their routes at the start of the year.
Dien Bien Automobile Transportation Association Chairman Nguyen Quoc Manh said the permit-granting procedure cost coach companies a lot of time and money.
"And even though the carriers wanted to increase the number of buses to meet passenger demand in the high season, they didn't get any help from the stations," Manh said. "They (the carriers) still had to come to the Department of Transport to register, which was a waste of time."
Nuoc Ngam Coach Terminal Director Nguyen Van Lap said if the Government was going ahead with the trans-provincial coach route plan, it needed to stop the local departments from enforcing the old permit regulations.
Yet local Departments of Transport didn't see eye-to-eye on the plan.
Ha Noi Transport Department Deputy Director Nguyen Hoang Linh said governmental control was still needed to supervise coach carriers' quotas and routes.
"A lot of the lengthy procedures have been cut out of the process now," Linh said. "Coach operators can even send their documents to the department via email, and will still receive their permits on time."
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang, however, said local departments were only trying to create barriers for coach operators, though the departments had already agreed with the new trans-provincial coach route plan.
"This is the ask-and-give mechanism, leaving the coach companies with no choice but to pay money under the table," Thang said.
Coach companies also asked the ministry to lower the amount of experience required for sleeper coach drivers from three years to one year.
"We suggest the Ministry focus more on training and licensing to ensure safety and stop operators from having to cheat at the same time," said Manh, chairman of the Dien Bien Automobile Transportation Association. — VNS