$4.1bln project to reduce traffic accidents, boost public transportation in HCMC

By Huu Nguyen   October 13, 2018 | 05:35 am PT
$4.1bln project to reduce traffic accidents, boost public transportation in HCMC
Ho Chi Minh City's road system. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
A $4.1 billion infrastructure project seeks to boost public transportation use and reduce traffic accidents in HCMC.

The plan, which will build 49 new bridges and 190 kilometers of roads from 2018 to 2020, will also reduce traffic congestion, officials said.

The VND96 trillion ($4.1 billion) project will be managed by a board of 35 members led by Vice Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen.

One of its targets is to reduce the number of traffic accidents as well as the number of resulting casualties by five percent each year.

It also envisages that 15 percent of all residents will use public transportation.

Announcing the new project last week, the HCMC People’s Committee said the project would prioritize application of modern technology as well as using the city’s budget to invest in essential traffic facilities.

Additional funds will be sought from multiple sources for infrastructure, develop its public transport systems and implement new solutions to limit the use of personal vehicles within the city.

The city expects to complete disbursement of funds for a traffic control system this year.

It will continue to reorganize parking spaces to limit the use of roads for parking vehicles.

Meanwhile, HCMC’s first metro line, connecting the downtown Ben Thanh station with Suoi Tien theme park in District 9, is expected to open in 2020.

Construction will continue on the second metro line from Ben Thanh to the Tham Luong station in District 12 and a bus rapid transit line on the city’s East-West Avenue.

HCMC, the country’s biggest city with a population of 13 million, has been struggling for years to deal with worsening traffic congestion.

The number of personal vehicles has increased exponentially, with 7.6 million motorbikes and 700,000 cars currently on the roads, while the public transport system has played a marginal role.

Authorities are hoping that this will change in the coming years.

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