People are too harsh on public buses

By An Thai   July 18, 2023 | 04:40 pm PT
People are too harsh on public buses
A public bus picks up a passenger at Tan Son Nhat airport in HCMC, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
I have seen many people condemning Vietnamese public buses on social media, blaming them for traffic jams and accidents.

That is not fair.

Some people criticize buses for jostling for the inner lanes, which are usually for motorbikes. But how can they pick up and drop off their passengers if they do not use the inner lanes? Would you suggest that they stop in the middle of the road and leave their passengers to deal with the traffic on foot?

Some people complain that the bulky vehicles cause traffic jams and affect other drivers’ journeys. But public buses run on fixed routes, it’s not that they want to enter an already crowded street or that they can just switch to a less crowded one.

Some people call public buses "road monsters." They insist that all bus drivers are careless, and they post videos of accidents involving public buses to prove their point.

I’ve even seen a video that had been manipulated to depict a bus driver as reckless, but he was actually following traffic rules.

Another common complaint is that bus drivers and their assistants are rude. Well, some of them are, like in all services. But you should not stereotype all public bus drivers as gangsters.

According to statistics by the National Traffic Safety Committee, a very small number of traffic accidents have been caused by public buses. Public bus companies manage their drivers carefully. All drivers are subject to at least two driving tests to be recruited, and they are tested for alcohol before work every morning.

Every public bus is now equipped with cameras, which will obviously help prevent drivers from impolite acts.

Instead of being too harsh on the buses, let’s look at them for their real purpose, which is to reduce traffic jams and pollution from individual vehicles.

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