Much effort needed for HCMC to increase bus passengers

The number of bus passengers has been reducing in Ho Chi Minh City since 2013 and there are many things for the city to do to obtain its target of one million bus passengers a day by 2020, reported delegates at a meeting on public transport planning and development on Saturday.

(Photo: SGGP)

The Department of Transport reported many problems such as unreasonable route network, bad service quality, downgraded bus fleet and weak management ability.

Travel by buses has been time consuming because worse traffic jams following population and vehicle increase and no bus lanes. There has no policy to limit private vehicles.

Buses have faced lack of parking areas to pick up and drop of passengers because station projects have been implemented slowly. Mass Rapid Transit and Bus Rapid Transit systems have yet to develop.

Permanent Commissioner of the People’s Council Huynh Cong Hung said that bus service has not been on time, convenient and safe enough to lure passengers.

Some delegates said that bus fare subsidization had not brought effectiveness in encouraging residents to use the service.

The Department of Transport proposed the city to provide businesses with incentives to renew their buses themselves, build parking lots to streamline of taxi operation and create residents’ habit of walking to bus stations within the radius of one kilometer.

IT application in bus management has been slow because of huge capital, according to Director of the department Bui Xuan Cuong.

Deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee Le Van Khoa proposed agencies to implement measures to improve bus service and competitiveness, rationalize and better the efficiency of the fare subsidization.

Preferential policies should be mapped out for private sector to invest in bus infrastructure. Bus cooperatives and businesses should be restructured, he said.

Chairwoman of the People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam urged related agencies to solve the above problems to develop bus service and increase the number of bus passengers by one million a day by 2020.

By Quoc Hung – Translated by Hai Mien

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