Living in small alleys? HCMC buses may still pick you up

By Huu Nguyen   September 16, 2018 | 10:47 pm PT
Living in small alleys? HCMC buses may still pick you up
A public bus is stuck in traffic in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC's Center for Traffic Management has recommended that the city operate mini buses for last-mile transit into alleys and narrow roads.

Ho Chi Minh City and indeed all Vietnamese urban areas are riddled with extremely small streets that regular city buses cannot enter, said the center under the city's transport department.

The center called for operating mini buses with 12-16 seats and estimated it to cost VND 77.3 billion ($3.3 million) in 2018-20 of the city budget.

It said the mini buses would improve public transport in the city and create a habit among the public of using buses, reducing traffic congestion and pollution.

The center hopes to receive approval for the proposal and funds for phase one. Throughout the implementation process, it will continue to make recommendations.

The city’s public transportation only meets 10 percent of demand and the number does not seem to increase. According to the center, one of the main reasons is that 85 percent of people in outlying districts like Tan Binh, Tan Phu, Binh Tan, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, and 10 live in narrow lanes.

 Often less than six meters (19.6 feet)wide, these lanes cannot fit in medium- and large-sized buses.

People living in them often have a walk of over 600 meters to the nearest bus stop, while the maximum reasonable distance should be 500 meters, the center said.

The result is that few people use buses and prefer private vehicles, usually motorbikes, but now, increasingly, cars.

The metropolis of 13 million people now has around 7.6 million motorbikes and 700,000 cars.

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