Railway passenger numbers plummet by half

By Dat Nguyen   October 5, 2020 | 11:00 pm PT
Railway passenger numbers plummet by half
Passengers seen on a train in Hanoi leaving for Hai Phong City, April 24, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The Vietnam Railway Corporation reported a 54 percent fall year-on-year in the number of passengers in the first nine months of the year to three million.

It said the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic also meant it made a loss of VND428 billion ($18.5 million) in the period.

It has temporarily laid off over 1,200 workers and reduced the working hours of 400 others since it has curtailed most of its operations since the second quarter due to lack of demand.

It has since resumed train operations to tourist destinations such as Da Nang and Lao Cai Province, home to the resort town of Sa Pa, but the number of passengers remains low amid a fear of Covid-19.

The company said it has been cutting fares by 12-30 percent to attract custom.

Cargo transport has however mostly remained unaffected, with 3.6 million tons being transported in the period, down 1 percent.

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