My daughter must drive a motorbike to school as the bus is too much hassle

By Vu Thi Minh Huyen   August 14, 2023 | 05:02 pm PT
My daughter must drive a motorbike to school as the bus is too much hassle
An electric public bus stops to pick up passengers in Hanoi, December 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Linh
My daughter took a bus to school every day for the past two years until it all became too much.

During her 10th and 11th grades, she got up early to catch the 6 a.m. bus to be at school at 7 a.m., 15 minutes before her classes started. Her journey back home took longer, usually two hours, due to the evening traffic jams, and she would get home around 7 p.m.

Our family in Hanoi lives around 13 km from her school, and though it often took a long time and there were no free seats, we thought the public bus was the safest choice for her. We had planned for her to take the bus for all three years of high school.

But early this month, when she went to school for a summer class, I found out that the bus station in front of her school had been moved very far away. That means after taking the bus, my daughter had to walk a long distance to get to school. She would have to have started even earlier and still could be late for class. So, I decided she could go by motorbike instead.

Hanoi authorities have been making efforts to improve the city’s public transport system in recent years. They have replaced old buses with new ones and opened more routes, but they have neglected to set up a station network that is convenient for passengers.

Many station locations force passengers to walk a long distance, as in my daughter’s case, and many stations do not even have a roof, leaving passengers to brace for rain or sizzling sunshine while waiting.

Just because of an inconvenient bus station, I must let my daughter drive a motorbike to school, and I will be constantly worried about her safety.

If Hanoi public bus management had given more thought to setting up its stations, I would not have had this headache.

I really hope Hanoi can develop a public bus system with quality infrastructure so that it can be a top choice for locals and visitors.

*Dr. Vu Thi Minh Huyen works at Vietnam University of Traditional Medicine

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