Feeble public transportation in HCMC

Public transportation sector strives to meet 15 percent -20 percent city dwellers’ travel demand by 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City; nevertheless, in reality, experts warned the goal is not feasible despite the municipal Department of Transport has been trying to support passenger transportation industry.

A bus travels in crowded road in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

A bus travels in crowded road in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

Lately, nine transportation enterprises petitioned city authorities to reconsider the subsidize level. They asked to have new price for 2019 to replace old price set up in 2012 as well as to compensate the price of eco-friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) because PVGas Company, the only supplier for the whole city, continuously demanded to raise price of CNG by 15.8 percent.
A lot of transportation companies even proposed to cut ineffective bus routes to save cash for economically unviable routes.
According to the Department of Transport, bus routes to District 12, the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi District have not been opened because of limited subsidy.
Last but not least, there has been a decrease in the number of passengers in some routes resulting in six of subsidized bus routes have not been operated any more. Moreover, 18 old bus fleets can’t be used any longer.
The Department said in first seven months of the year, around 333,000 buses have been more than 15 minutes late because of traffic congestion, which is the cause of a lot of passengers especially students stopping taking bus.
According to a survey of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in the period from 2015 to 2030, travel demand in HCMC will increase by 2.7 times. Alarmingly, lots of people will buy cars resulting in worse traffic gridlock if the city administration don’t have solutions.
Worse, extension of technology motorcycles has pushed bus service into more difficult condition because technology motorcycle companies offer cheap price and accept to take passengers in short distance to compete with bus.
Recently, technology motorbike companies have offered promotion program to attract more passengers. Moreover, motorbikes escape traffic jam more easily than bus and bus stops are too dirty to attract passengers.

By staff writers - Translated by ANH QUAN

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