Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Transportation units at coach stations and airports as well as train stations in HCM City are busy meeting passenger demand for travel before and after the Tết (Lunar New year) holiday.
The Sài Gòn Railway Station in District 3 has 17-22 trains departing each day between 6am and 11:05pm, carrying 15,000-17,000 passengers from HCM City.
Đỗ Quang Văn, director of the station, said the station has added four times the staff and worked with local police forces and public security forces to provide the best services during the holiday.
Because traffic jams often occur on streets leading to the train station on peak days of the upcoming holiday, passengers should arrive at the station at least 30 minutes prior to their departure to avoid late arrival.
About 30 passengers on average were late for their buses during Tết last year, he said.
“If there is availability, the station will consider returning or changing the tickets for late passengers to help them get home for Tết.”
The station will also strengthen control of passengers’ boarding cards and identification papers at the entrance gate.
“Passengers should not buy tickets from individuals outside the station who could be selling fake or invalid tickets,” Văn said.
The Miền Đông (Eastern) Coach Station in Bình Thạnh District has recently been crowded with a large number of passengers.
According to its management board, about 200 transportation units are now working. As of last Friday, more than 308,000 bus tickets were still available, including 93,000 tickets for buses with beds.
Major transporters such as Phương Trang, Chín Nghĩa and Thuận Thảo plan to add more buses to satisfy rising demand.
The peak period will run from January 27 to February 2, with the busiest day on January 31.
At Miền Tây (Western) Coach Station in Bình Tân District, the peak period is expected to be February 1-4. It has shorter routes from HCM City to the Southwest, compared to routes from HCM City to the central, Central Highlands and northern regions.
Đặng Nguyễn Nguyên Huân, deputy director of the Western Coach Station, said the station had asked the Transport Department’s Public Transportation Management Centre to adjust the departure time of bus routes No. 10, 151, 601, 618 and 14 during the holidays.
Transportation units are worried about the volume of vehicles on HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway during the peak period, he said.
The two coach stations are expected to serve 130,000 passengers per day during the holiday.
Facing the same situation, Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport is already seeing overcrowding at its gates with many overseas Vietnamese returning for Tết.
“It’s not easy to buy airline tickets for domestic routes, especially flights between HCM City and some central provinces and cities such as Đà Nẵng, Vinh and Thanh Hóa,” said Võ Văn Phúc, an air ticket sales agent in District 3.
Tickets for the routes, which are priced VNĐ3-4 million (US$130-172) for one-way flights, are almost sold out, he said. — VNS