Ticket counters of the Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station are desert. (Photo: SGGP)
Transport operatos are coping with the high fuel price and decline of passenger numbers while localities’ Covid-19 alert levels have been constantly changed.
The Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District has announced a temporary suspension of some routes, including HCMC- Gia Nghia in Dak Nong Province, HCMC-Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province.
At present, only 15 province and cities have reopened fixed-route passenger buses to he Eastern bus stations in HCMC. The coach station has seen a total number of bus departures of 2,490 with 14,000 passengers from the first reopening day on October 13 to November 12, compared with 28,992 trips featuring 491,729 travelers in the last period.
Lien Hung transport opeartor’s driver Nguyen Van Tho of passenger sleeping coach on Saigon-Nha Trang route said that the bus has been allowed to operate with 100 percent of its capaity but there are only a few passengers on each trip.
The Quoc Long transport company operating the HCMC- Dak Nong route and Thong Nhat coach cooperative have also expressed their concerns over the lack of passengers and a rise in petrol prices.
Passengers still fear coronavirus exposure. Trans-provincial transportation must wait for the reopening and activity resumption leading to the higher travel demand, said Chairman of the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association, Nguyen Van Quyen.
The situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country is still complicated, businesses have to calculate total costs for their existing to overcome tough times.
In addition, the Ministry of Health should promptly approve the administration of Covid-19 vaccines for localities in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta region while the Ministry of Transport needs to issue detailed transportation regulations among provinces and cities in the Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2, said Chairman of the HCM City Interprovincial and Tourist Passenger Transport Association, Le Trung Tinh.
Additionally, the Ministry of Trade and Industry should propose the Government to cut taxes on petrol and diesel, and spend much money from the Price Stabilization Fund for different fuel types to reduce the price of petrol.