Hanoi's new rapid bus route showing signs of overloading: report

By Vo Hai   September 11, 2017 | 07:49 pm GMT+7

The buses have a capacity of 90 passengers, but some are carrying up to 115 during peak times.

Hanoi's new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route is becoming overcrowded during rush hours, the city's Department of Transport said in a report Sunday.

The buses have a capacity of 90 passengers, but some are carrying up to 115 during peak times, the report said. On average, the buses carry 70 passengers during peak hours, and around 20 during off-peak hours.

The BRT route was launched in January and runs 14.7 kilometers (9.1 miles) between Kim Ma and Yen Nghia, two of the city’s most populated areas. A one-way ticket costs VND7,000, or around 30 cents.

Approximately 13,000 people use the service each day, and eighty percent of them are students and office workers. 

The BRT system has earned a reputation for being "highly reliable”, the report said. “The BRT system has encouraged more people to use public transport in Hanoi. Over the past eight months, there have been no serious traffic jams on the route.”

A survey of 2,000 passengers found that 23 percent had shifted from motorbikes, xe om (motorbike taxi) and taxis to the BRT.

But authorities in Ho Chi Minh City don't seem to be convinced. After assessing Hanoi’s BRT route, the southern metropolis has decided to scrap plans for a BRT of its own, saying that the project would not attract enough passengers to justify its cost.