Coach operators are facing bankruptcy after Hà Nội’s Transport Department moved their departure point from Mỹ Đình Bus Station to Nước Ngầm Bus Station on January 01.— Photo chinhphu.vn
HÀ NỘI — Coach operators are facing bankruptcy after Hà Nội’s Transport Department moved their departure point from Mỹ Đình Bus Station to Nước Ngầm Bus Station on January 01.
The transport department ordered coaches linking Hà Nội with the provinces of Thái Bình, Nam Định, Hà Tĩnh, Thanh Hoá and Nghệ An to move their departure point from Mỹ Đình to Nước Ngầm Bus Station, nearly 15 kilometres away. The decision aimed to reduce traffic jams on Belt Road No 3.
Speaking yesterday at a dialogue with representatives from the Ministry of Transport, the Hà Nội administration and the city Transport Department, Nguyễn Xuân La, a representative from a coach operator of Thái Bình Province said, “It’s very hard for us now; we have had very few passengers the last two months.”
La’s firm borrowed money to operate and had to pay interest every month, he said.
“If the situation continues, we might go bankrupt,” he said.
La said the city should prepare a road map before moving coach operators from Mỹ Đình Bus Station to Nước Ngầm Bus Station.
In the meantime, Nguyễn Văn Thạch, head of Nam Định Province’s Transport Association said the decision was unsuitable.
Thạch gave an example about a local bus operator who reportedly suffered losses of VNĐ600 million (US$26,300) due to a shortage of passengers in the last two months.
“Bankruptcy is very near,” he said.
Nguyễn Đức Bình, director of a coach operator from Nghệ An Province said he was forced to stop two coaches running from Nghệ An to Hà Nội after being ordered to move to Nước Ngầm Bus Station. He lost about VNĐ100 million ($4,300) due to a lack of passengers.
“We are in a very difficult situation,” he said.
Bình suggested agencies re-consider the decision to help coach operators.
Representatives from coach operators blamed poor connections between Nước Ngầm Bus Station and the city’s downtown and other bus stations for the lack of passengers.
In response to complaints from the coach operators, director of the Hà Nội’s Transport Department Vũ Văn Viện said traffic jams often occurred on Belt Road No 3, so the city administration decided to move some coach routes to curb traffic jams.
“It is the benefit for everyone, not for any private company,” he said.
The occurrence of traffic jams had sharply reduced, he said.
Viện also said the department knew about difficulties that coach operators suffered recently and the department was working with other agencies to fix the situation.
Hà Huy Quang, deputy head of the transport department said the department would strengthen dissemination campaigns so people would know about the new departure point.
The department also plans to add more bus routes connecting Nước Ngầm Bus Station to downtown and other stations to ensure people convenient travel, he said.
Coach operators protest
Previously, on Tuesday morning, nearly 100 coaches without passengers travelling on the routes of Hà Nội – Thái Bình and Hà Nội – Nam Định drove to Hà Nội in protest.
The coaches were among the coaches forced to move their departure point from Mỹ Đình Bus Station to Nước Ngầm Bus Station.
It was thought to be an attempt to urge pressure agencies to re-consider the decision.
Traffic police had to stop the coaches at the Pháp Vân – Cầu Giẽ Expressway tollbooth because they worried the coaches would make traffic chaos if they got to downtown Hà Nội.
Viện said coach operators had the right to complain, however, they should follow regulations.
The coach operators should not act like that, he said.
Coach operators and the Việt Nam Automobile Transport Association had complained to the city administration and the transport department about the issue. All the complaints received feedback, he said.
Even Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc himself had ordered the Ministry of Transport to co-operate with the Hà Nội administration and transport department to hold a dialogue with coach operators and report to Phúc before March 10, Viện said. — VNS