Hanoi lines up dedicated bus services for students

By Doan Loan   May 26, 2017 | 08:14 am GMT+7

Underage driving and traffic congestion will be targeted if the plan is approved by the city's leaders.

Education authorities in Hanoi are considering setting up dedicated bus routes for students in an effort to provide them with a safer and faster way of getting to school.

The plan would also help reduce traffic congestion and underage driving.

A survey on the demand for school buses was conducted on Wednesday by the Education and Training Department and Hanoi Transport & Service Corporation (Transerco), the state-run provider of bus services for the capital, which are currently overseeing the project.

A representative from Transerco said the survey was conducted in 13 districts and involved over 270,000 students from nearly 350 schools.

The company expects the information, including students' travel habits, home addresses and opinions, to help authorities plan the project to best meet students' needs.

The project will resemble school bus models already used in many countries around the world, said the company. The buses will have distinct colors and will pick students up at fixed locations and times. Smart card tickets will also be used to control fares.

Pham Xuan Tien, deputy director of Hanoi's Department of Education and Training, said that depending on the area, authorities would open bus routes running from schools to students' homes. If the project is approved by city leaders, it will start this year, he added.

"It is very difficult to control underage driving, and high school students are often seen riding motorbikes to school because there is no public transport available for them. Hopefully the new school buses will solve the problem," said the deputy director.

Transerco currently operates around 1,000 buses that transport about 500 million passengers each year, equivalent to 15 percent of the total travel demand.