Illegal bus operators step in to fill Tet demand

With Tet (the lunar New Year) drawing closer, the exodus to hometowns has begun and with most authorized bus operators already having sold out all seats, unauthorized operators are making hay.

A traffic inspector slaps a fine on a bus caught picking up passengers on a road in Thu Duc District, HCMC, January 25 (Photo: SGGP)

In Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Phu and Tan Binh Districts, buses are stealthily picking up passengers and goods and city traffic inspectors have begun a campaign to stop them.

On January 25, the day it began, inspection team No.5 belonging to the Department of Transport and police officials caught 25 buses picking up people at gas stations and on roads in Thu Duc District.

The inspectors slapped fines of VND200,000-300,000 on them for picking up passengers at non-designated places and seized three drivers’ licenses for 30 days.

The inspections will go on until February 28.

Le Van Tuan, head of team no.5, which operates in Districts 2, 9, and Thu Duc, said buses caught picking up passengers at gas stations usually claim to have stopped to fill gas.

Proper outside-station bus operators

Many passengers who cannot get seats on buses operating from bus stations seek out certain transport operators who ply buses only for 10 days before and after Tet.

They just need to call these companies who deliver tickets at home and also pick them up from and drop them at home.

Some businesses, like Ba Nga, Quang Ha, and Dinh Nhan in Tan Binh District, have operated for dozens of years and transport thousands of passengers during Tet each year.

Ms Nga, owner of Ba Nga Company, said in recent years these companies have attracted more and more passengers because of their reasonable fares and, most importantly, not carrying more passengers than authorized.

These companies transport a large number of passengers, reducing the pressure on bus stations during Tet.

Related article:
Tet bus tickets selling out fast

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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