The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has mapped out and conducted a restructuring plan in public transport after many consecutive years of commuter reduction.
|A bus station in HCMC. Public transport needs restructuring to attract passengers (Photo: SGGP)|
The department has decided to replace the leader of the HCMC Public Transport Management Center with an experienced official, who has had many ideas especially in traffic organization, in an attempt to better reorganize public transport in the city, said department director Le Hoang Minh.
Bus passengers have mainly been students and laborers, in the upcoming time the department will convince civil servants and officials from businesses and government agencies to travel by this means of transport, Mr. Minh added.
Specifically, the department will have to well organize the pick-up and see-off service to students because this has been one of hindrances between civil servants and buses. It has been inconvenient for them to take their children to school and pick them up after school time if they commute by buses to office everyday.
From the coming school year, the center will directly set up projects to deal with schools to provide shuttle bus services to students, Mr. Minh said.
He hoped to receive full consideration and cooperation from the schools.
The department and the center are also working to make smart cards instead of tickets, allowing bus commuters to travel in all routes with low fares.
Smart card would not only reduce fares but also help transport firms focus on improving their service instead of selling tickets, said Mr. Phung Dang Hai, director general of the HCMC Bus Cooperative Alliance.
Besides the first under-construction metro route and the recently World Bank financed bus rapid transit system, the city has started building electric and waterway bus routes to diversify transport forms.
The city People’s Committee has approved the first two waterway bus routes from the city’s center to Thu Duc and District 6, which are expected to break ground next year.
HCMC has also implemented some waterway bus routes to serve tourists. The first route along Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal is scheduled to open for service in the coming National Day, September 2.
The committee has tasked the Transport Department to gradually replace large buses with small electric and environmentally friendly buses in the city’s center areas. Many transport firms have registered to attend in the project.
Moves by the city’s transport industry to restructure public transport have pleased many transport firms. However they wondered whether the restructuring will go successful. Previously, a campaign had been launched to mobilize civil servants to travel by buses without any achievement.
In response, Mr. Minh said that it depended on many factors comprising man and practical conditions. However he hoped that the plan would work for better traffic vehicular in the city and safer travel of residents.