Hanoi authorities claim bus rapid transit system has eased congestion

By Vo Hai   November 13, 2022 | 06:52 pm PT
Hanoi authorities claim bus rapid transit system has eased congestion
A bus of Hanoi's Bus Rapid Transit system is seen blocked by motorbikes on its priority lane. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Hanoi’s Kim Ma – Yen Nghia bus rapid transit (BRT) system has helped reduced traffic congestion and is increasing its number of passengers and revenues, according to city authorities.

There were on average 40 passengers per trip in 2017, and the number has risen to 45 this year, a People’s Committee report said.

The BRT’s revenues are higher than normal buses’, but so are its subsidies, which increased from 36% in 2019 to over 65% last year.

It faces certain problems like other vehicles encroaching on its earmarked lane, not having a dedicated lane in some places and not being able to issue electronic tickets.

But authorities acknowledge that it has helped reduce traffic congestion and the number of vehicles in the downtown area.

The Kim Ma – Yen Nghia BRT, running from the downtown district of Dong Da to the southeastern district of Ha Dong, cost US$55 million and began operating in 2017.

Buses take 45 minutes for the trip of 14.8 kilometers.

In 2018 the Department of Transport proposed that normal buses can use the BRT lane from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m.

In June this year it suggested that all passenger vehicles with 24 seats or more, ambulances and other special vehicles can also use the lane.

The city did not publicly respond to these proposals.

But some people say they are unsure if it has helped reduce congestion since its route is always busy during rush hour.

The World Bank, which funded and consults the BRT, said though the number of passengers remains below expectations, the system has created a foundation for a new type of public transport with higher standards than normal buses.

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