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HCM City seeks to develop public buses
  • |, nld | November 18, 2019 10:44 AM
HCM City is facing lots of challenges in developing public bus services amid falling passenger numbers.

HCM City is facing lots of challenges in developing public bus services amid falling passenger numbers. Photo for illustration

The problem was discussed at a meeting held by the city people's council on November 15.

In a report released at the meeting, director of the city Department of Transport, Tran Quang Lam said that bus transportation decreased in the first eight months of this year with just 131 million trips which was a fall of over 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Although the city is providing subsidies of VND1 trillion (USD43.5 million) for bus travel, the number of passengers fell 6.6 per cent every year during 2014-2018, the report said.

Lam said that the main reason is traffic congestion.

"In the first seven months of 2019, 330,000 bus trips were reported to have been late for over 15 minute due to traffic congestion," he said.

Tong Thi Thu Thanh, vice chairman of Quyet Thang Bus Transport Collective which is operating 168 buses said that they were facing losses and had to reduce the number of routes and trips.

"But as we cut down on routes and trips, we are losing more customers," Thanh said. "Even bus route No. 56 which serve mainly students who are the main bus users is also reporting falling number of passengers."

Head of 19-5 Bus Transportation Collective, Nguyen Van Trieu, proposed that the city should build separate lanes for buses and upgrade bus stops and stations.

A deputy of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council, Le Nguyen Minh Quang agreed with this proposal, saying that the transport department needs to improve bus transport services to attract more passengers.

"The first thing we must do is to make bus transportation faster," Quang said. "We need to have separate lanes for buses."

"Meanwhile, deputy Vo Thi Ngoc Thuy proposed that the city should change the way they subsidise buses.

"We should consider different subsidy rates for different routes, and different ticket prices for different passenger groups," she said.

Agreeing with proposals from deputies, the director of the transport department said that they would design separate lanes for buses, rearrange routes and open more routes to new urban areas and satellite towns.

"We will also give more support to bus transportation firms to encourage them to improve their services," Lam said.

Speaking at the meeting, deputy chairman of HCM City People's Committee, Vo Van Hoan, said that since 2010, the city has considered developing bus transportation an important task.

"However, the rising number of private vehicles has made it difficult to develop public transportation," the official said.

"In the coming time, we will give more land to public transportation and at the same time tighten the operation of private vehicles in the city centre."

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