Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — An estimated 380,000 passengers travelled on the bus rapid transit (BRT) in January – the first month Hà Nội has operated the new public transport service.
The bus, which provides free trips for passengers until February 05, runs a 14km route from Kim Mã Street to Yên Nghĩa Bus Station, and takes between 30-45 minutes. The buses have free Wi-Fi service for passengers
Đỗ Minh Thu, a 30-year-old passenger from Đống Đa Street, said she felt the BRT’s service was okay.
Announcements on the BRT for passengers to get on and off at boarding points were clear and useful, she said.
“The BRT driver is very friendly,” she said.
However, Thu also named a couple of issues she found to be inconvenient. First, the placement of seats facing backwards was more likely to cause motion sickness for some users.
Thu preferred rows of seats facing the same direction, like on a normal bus, she said.
Second, the distance from her home on Đê La Thành Street to the boarding point on Giảng Võ – Láng Hạ was quite far, and she had to take a motorbike taxi because of a lack of pavements, she said.
Nguyễn Hoàng Hải, director of Hà Nội Public Transport Management and Operation Centre said data showed that on a normal day, the average number of passengers was about 40 on each BRT.
However, during Tết (Lunar New Year) holidays, the number dropped to about 10-15 passengers, mostly the elderly, he said.
Over the past month of operating the BRT, many vehicles were found driving in the BRT-only lane.
According to the Traffic Police Office under Hà Nội’s Public Security Department, traffic police would start to impose fines on violators found driving in the BRT-only lane from this month.
Traffic police would fine violators directly, and violations would also be caught by traffic cameras, the police said.
Following Government Decree 46/2016/NĐ-CP issued in 2016, automobiles driving in the BRT lane would receive a fine of VNĐ800,000-1.2 million (US$35-53), and motorbikes VNĐ300,000-400,000 ($13-17).
The city has planned to run eight BRT routes by 2030. — VNS