Hanoi plans to open exclusive rapid bus lanes to public buses

By Vo Hai, Doan Loan   May 9, 2017 | 03:10 pm GMT+7
Hanoi plans to open exclusive rapid bus lanes to public buses
A rapid bus just leaves the station in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do

Transport experts are skeptical, saying it could cause traffic chaos and crashes.

Hanoi plans to open its exclusive rapid bus lanes to public buses from next month on a six-month trial run in an effort to reduce traffic jams.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, director of the Hanoi Urban Transport Management and Operation Center, said at a press briefing on Monday it has asked for the green-light from municipal authorities to start the plan, which will reduce pressure on the road for other vehicles.

Hai said public buses will make use of five-to-ten minute intervals between rapid bus trips.

The $53.6 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network stretches nearly 15 kilometers between Kim Ma and Yen Nghia, two of the city’s most populated areas.

The center is working on technical measures to allow public buses to turn onto the route and relocating some of its existing bus terminals.

However, transport experts are skeptical, saying that more buses in the exclusive lanes could cause traffic chaos and crashes.

Hanoi launched the BRT route last December in a bid to promote public transport and reduce congestion. The journey takes 45 minutes, 10 minutes faster than a normal bus.

The number of daily passengers has increased from around 8,000 to 13,000 since it was launched, compared to the daily average of 3,000 who used to ride public buses along the route, Hai said.