Multiple issues surround urban bus terminals

Many major bus terminals in Ho Chi Minh City are not being used at their full capacities, either because of poor management or random population shifts.

New Mien Dong Bus station in District 9

New Mien Dong Bus station in District 9

Almost all of the major bus terminals in HCMC are located in crowded residential areas, and the toll of overpopulation on these areas always shows itself, especially during national holidays.
Since all terminals are located near national highways, it should theoretically give passengers easier access; however, reality has proven otherwise.
Nga Tu Ga bus terminal is stationed on National Highway 1A near crowded residential and industrial areas of the city. Despite its convenient location, passengers on the other side of the highway must take a 2km detour to reach the front entrance since there is a long median strip in the way.
The same situation applies to An Suong Bus Station, deterring passengers from trying to enter the terminal and instead stand along the street to catch their buses.
Meanwhile, the old Mien Dong Bus station whose infrastructures received heavy investments is in direct competition with another station across the street which is not part of the city’s zoning. It has been pointed out that this problem comes from inefficient management, since the “unauthorized” station is actually granted a business license.
On the other hand, a majority of working class people and small business owners would see the opening of a new bus terminal as a chance for them to get their piece of the pie, which is an issue that will continue to bother authorities.
When it was established more than 20 years ago, An Suong Bus Station was surrounded by deserted land that served no more than for natural drainage purpose. The emergence of a key bus station, however has turned this vacant area into a busy and crowded residential area as seen now.

By Trung Khanh - Translated by Tan Nghia

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