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Improving public transport tops HCM City efforts to unclog roads

Update: June, 16/2018 - 08:00
A public bus in HCM City. — VNS File Photo.
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY  —  Improving the operation of public buses and striving for better management of private vehicles are among the measures envisaged under a programme to reduce traffic congestion and accidents in HCM City.

HCM City has 144 public bus routes, 30 others to transport workers and employees to their workplaces, and 123 schools with bus services for students.

It has accelerated construction of metro line No 1 linking Bến Thành Market in District 1 with Suối Tiên Park in District 9 while preparing for construction of line No 2 linking Bến Thành with Tham Lương Bus Station in District 12.

According to the Department of Transport, the city has 29.99ha of parking space for buses, accounting for 36.95 per cent of the area meant for buses under a master plan.

But there is no dedicated parking space for taxis.

Two years after the launch of the five-year programm, it has only managed to mobilise 35 per cent of the funds required.

The delay in the progress of many public passenger transport projects is one of the challenges preventing comprehensive development of passenger transport networks.

This is also the reason why a majority of the population still depends on private transport.

According to figures from the department, public transport services only meet 9.5 per cent of demand, while the target is 15-20 per cent by 2020.

Even achieving 15 per cent by 2020 would be a big challenge, the department admitted.

The city has not launched any new bus routes because of the lack of a detailed master plan for bus services, shortage of parking space for buses and the lack of regulations governing tendering for these services.

Bus transport is not very popular with the public since many of the existing buses are in poor condition.

Private vehicles, especially motorbikes, are preferred especially because of the increasing congestion on roads in the inner districts.

To achieve the target of 15 per cent of commuters using public transport, joint efforts by public agencies and district authorities are required, the department said.

This year the city plans to launch 21 new bus routes to residential areas, urban areas, schools, supermarkets, industrial parks and export processing zones, suburban areas, and areas without bus services.

Infrastructure for public passenger transport will be improved and upgraded.

The department proposes further investment to augment bus fleets by 2020 to better serve public transport and students. — VNS

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