Transport firms hike fares by up to 20 pct

By Doan Loan, Thi Ha   March 15, 2022 | 08:54 pm PT
Transport firms hike fares by up to 20 pct
Drivers wait for passengers at Giap Bat Bus Station in Hanoi in February 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Transport companies are increasing fares by 10-20 percent amid the sharp rise in gasoline prices and slump in demand, which has pushed most of them into the red.

Minh Thanh Phat, which operates Sao Viet buses in the north, said it has informed authorities about a 20-percent hike starting this week.

"Customers may complain, but transport firms are posting mounting losses. We are trying to survive and not making profits."

Seventy percent of its vehicles are not plying due to low demand amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, and many of those that do operate are only a third full.

With around 200,000 Covid cases recorded every day this month, most of them in the north Vietnam, people are refraining from traveling.

As gasoline prices are at record levels, the more they operate, the bigger their losses, transport companies said.

HCMC taxi firm Vinasun is set to finalize plans for a fare increase this month, and it is waiting to see if the environment tax on gasoline is reduced.

Nguyen Cong hung, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, said taxi firms are set to increase fares by 10-15 percent.

"Without an increase they will not be able to pay salaries. Their revenues have been plunging and they are operating at only 60 percent of capacity".

Sixteen transport companies in Hanoi have sought authorities’ permission to increase fares by 5-15 percent.

Grab, the country’s largest ride-hailing company, increased fares on all its services by 6-7 percent on March 10.

Cargo transport firms have also increased prices.

Long Van Toan, head of transport at a Hanoi-based logistics company, said fuel prices have increased by 50 percent since the end of last year, and this has forced his company to hike prices by 15 percent.

The Hanoi Transport Association said transporters are now posting losses and drivers are seeing incomes plunge.

"Transport firms expect more support from the government such as a cut in taxes and loan interest rates."

Gasoline prices surged to VND29,820 ($1.30) on March 11, having risen 28 percent since the end of December.

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