HCMC considers banning private vehicles from city center

By Huu Cong   July 4, 2016 | 03:08 pm GMT+7

Ho Chi Minh City looks into ways to limit private vehicles in the city center to ease congestion.

Following Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City is looking at ways to limit the number of private vehicles entering the city center to ease congestion.

Data from the city’s Department of Transport showed that over the first six months of this year, the number of newly-licensed vehicles accelerated by around 180 cars each day. As of June 15, the city had a total of 7.6 million vehicles, of which cars accounted for 600,000 units.

The city has been looking at ways to solve traffic congestion, such as setting car import quotas and banning cars in the inner city. However, traffic congestion remains a big challenge that authorities need to address.

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Traffic jam in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong

Tran Quang Lam, deputy director of the Department of Transport, said that they are working on a plan to reduce vehicle numbers in some central areas after news that Hanoi may ban motorbikes in 2025.

“We are working with a university to draw up a roadmap to reduce traffic in central areas. We may limit private vehicles on weekend evenings to start with, like we have already done on Nguyen Hue Street.”

The deputy director added that they will implement the plan only when the first metro line, connecting Ben Thanh Terminal in District 1 and Suoi Tien Amusement Park in District 9, comes into operation. Additional conditions include public transport that can meet travel demands and enough underground parking lots.

Last month, Hanoi outlined a draft that said the city will “gradually reduce the number of private vehicles and aims to stop the operations of motorcycles by 2025”. Like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is struggling to handle traffic jams with the number of vehicles currently standing at around 5.5 million and projected to hit eight million by 2020.

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