Traffic jams cost Ho Chi Minh City $820 million each year

By Vietnamplus   March 30, 2016 | 05:14 pm GMT+7

Residents of the southern metropolis have been complaining about worsening traffic congestion for years, now new research has found it is costing the city more than VND18.3 trillion every year.

The figure was revealed by Associate Professor Pham Xuan Mai from Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Technology at a meeting on measures to reduce traffic congestion on March 29.

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Traffic congestion on the road to Tan Son Nhat airport. Photo: Vietnamplus

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said traffic had gotten worse in the city due to poor construction, land-use planning and a public transport system that was not extensive enough to serve as a main means of transport.

By March 15, Ho Chi Minh City had more than 7.5 million vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 6.77 percent, according to the city’s Department of Transport. Additional millions of vehicles from other provinces also contribute to traffic congestion in the city every day.

The proportion of land area set aside for transport, however, accounts for only 8.2 percent of the space for constructing urban facilities, far below the 24 to 26 percent target set by the government.

Authorities are accelerating the progress of two metro lines and one bus rapid transit (BRT) project, along with the construction of new bus terminals in outlying areas in an attempt to reduce traffic jams.

Assoc. Prof. Mai suggested the city develop a three-carriage BRT system, which has proved effective in big cities in Europe, Japan, China and Thailand, to draw more people into using public transportation.