Hanoi closes major coach station as it looks to revamp transport system

By    July 27, 2016 | 12:35 am PT
It used to be the quickest way to visit Ha Long Bay, but now tourists will have to use other stations.

Hanoi officially closed Luong Yen coach station on Wednesday after three years of delays.

Most visitors to Vietnam who want to see UNESCO World Heritage site Ha Long Bay, some 165 kilometers from the country’s northern capital Hanoi, tend to opt for a bus from Luong Yen station as the quickest way to get to one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attraction.

The closure of the coach station, which is located just 3 kilometers from Hanoi’s city center, is expected to ease traffic flow in nearby areas and improve bus services, the city’s transport authorities said.

Coaches will be rerouted through other stations across the city.

Luong Yen station came into operation in 2004 on a 10,000 square meter plot as a temporary coach station. However, half of the station was allocated for a real estate project in 2010. As a result, the station’s capacity was significantly downsized, creating increasing pressure from overcrowding.

Luong Yen station used to handle 335 coaches on a daily basis, while Nuoc Ngam (Underground Water) station, with an area of 18,000 square meters, handles only 224 coaches daily.

Hanoi is drawing up a plan to develop a chain of coach stations on the outskirts of the city.

The city’s rapid population expansion and fast economic growth have brought with them the need to develop infrastructure, especially in the transport network.

Under the plan, the city will authorize the construction of new coach stations and parking lots, and also open service areas where drivers can take a toilet break, fill up their tanks and get something to eat.

In the future, Hanoi will have 22 major coach stations, according to the city’s transport plan towards 2030 with a vision to 2050.

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