Gov't pushes for private vehicle restriction in big cities

By Viet Tuan   September 24, 2023 | 09:10 pm PT
Gov't pushes for private vehicle restriction in big cities
Vehicles on a street in HCMC's Tan Binh District, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The government has instructed Hanoi, HCMC and other major cities to make clear plans to reduce private vehicles and make public transport available to tackle chronic gridlock.

In an action program on ensuring traffic order and safety it issued last week, it exhorted the cities to prioritize investment in public transport, especially mass transit.

It called on them to create road maps to gradually limit the use of private cars and motorbikes in the inner-city areas, and better manage the use of sidewalks to ensure that pedestrians have the space required to easily access public transport.

The program also sought guarantees from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City that their metro systems would be completed on schedule, adding they need to complete bus rapid transit systems and link them with the metros.

In April last year the government had tasked the country's five biggest cities - Da Nang, HCMC and Can Tho being the other three - with making plans to restrict motorbikes in downtown areas.

The centrally governed cities have until 2030 to either ban or restrict motorbikes in certain areas.

They have also been instructed to study and develop a scheme to charge fees for entering certain areas that face a risk of congestion and pollution.

In December 2021 Hanoi had unveiled a plan to ban motorbikes in central districts after 2025.

Ho Chi Minh City had said in 2019 that it would restrict and eventually ban motorbikes from a number of downtown areas.

However, there are no specific plans yet in either city to limit the use of private vehicles.

According to official data, HCMC now has 8.4 million private vehicles, including 7.6 million motorbikes, and Hanoi has 6.4 million vehicles, 5.6 million of them motorbikes.

The capital has just one operational metro line while HCMC is waiting for its first to start operating next year.

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