Hanoi mulls more midnight-daybreak bus routes

By Anh Duy    March 15, 2020 | 05:26 am PT
Hanoi mulls more midnight-daybreak bus routes
Inter-provincial buses waiting for passengers at a station in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy.
Hanoi is considering opening more bus routes operating at night to reduce traffic congestion during the day.

A Hanoi Transport Department representative who did not want to be named said Saturday they are currently drafting a plan for the midnight-daybreak routes, which would involve extending working hours of bus stations between midnight and 5 a.m.

Currently, buses at Hanoi’s main terminals mainly operate during the day or evening, and seldom offer overnight services. 

"This (new overnight tours) will increase the efficiency of the bus stations, meet the needs of passengers, reduce congestion during peak hours and facilitate traffic management," the representative said.

The department’s new overnight bus routes plan will also focus on these long trips. Once the plan is complete, the department will consult with businesses and government agencies before submitting it to the City People’s Committee and Ministry of Transport.

However, the proposed plan has attracted a few critics, too.

Bui Danh Lien, Vice President of the Hanoi Transport Association, said passenger numbers are mostly concentrated early morning or late afternoon, and bus terminals in the city are running at just 50-60 percent of their capacity.

Extending working hours on night routes would create wasteful expenditure for businesses and increase costs at bus stations, and the addition of more overnight routes would also disrupt inter-provincial traffic plans set by the Ministry of Transport, making traffic more dangerous, he said.

Nguyen Van Quyen, chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transport Association, said it was also necessary to study the needs of passengers travelling after midnight, because current bus services have largely met the actual needs.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 epidemic has already reduced the number of passengers travelling between Hanoi and other provinces in February by 40-50 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the Hanoi Transport Department.

Trinh Hoai Nam, deputy director of Nuoc Ngam Bus Station, said that the daily number of active buses has fallen from 500 to 340 since the first confirmed case in the city.

Most companies have cut their trips down by 30-50 percent from the city to other northern localities, he added.

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