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Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

By Ngoc Thanh   July 2, 2022 | 11:29 pm PT
Despite having an exclusive lane, a full 15 km trip on Hanoi's BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line takes around 60 minutes during rush hours, instead of the usual 35 minutes.
Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

Hanoi's first BRT line began operations in 2017. It runs over 14.77 km from Yen Nghia to the Kim Ma Station on its own exclusive path.

The goal of promoting the BRT system is to reduce the number of personal vehicles on the road, prevent traffic congestion and protect the environment.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

However, the sheer amount of traffic during peak hours sees other vehicles trespassing on the BRT-exclusive lanes in great numbers, forcing delays on people taking the bus.

The total investment cost of the project, including infrastructure and buses, is around $55 million, which is sourced from a World Bank and counterpart funds from Vietnam.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

In the early hours of the morning, people could be seen parking their vehicles in front of a BRT station on To Huu Street, with more vehicles behind them.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

Even during regular hours, motorbikes and cars freely encroach the BRT-exclusive lanes.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

The BRT 01 line has 20 buses, according to the Hanoi Department of Transport. On average, they carry around 70 passengers per ride.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020 the line transported around 5.3 million, 5.5 million and 5.35 million passengers, respectively.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

Apart for rush hours, BRT stations are mostly empty. Ten of 12 stops have overpasses, but the distance to walk from one end to another is still far and not suitable for the elderly and the disabled. There are no restrooms or parking spaces for personal vehicles nearby.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

The BRT lines still issue paper, not digital tickets. The buses' average speed is 20-22 kph, not very different from a regular bus.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

At 4 p.m. last Monday, many BRT buses were parked at the Yen Nghia Station with almost no passengers.

Despite the hefty investment, the BRT line has not been able to meet expectations and achieve the goal of reducing the number of personal vehicles, according to a 2021 report by the Government Inspectorate.

Hanoi BRT line yet to deliver 6 years on

An illustration of the BRT line in Hanoi.

On June 23, the Hanoi transport department proposed that buses with 24 seats and above, as well as vehicles for official or emergency purposes, should be allowed to run on the BRT lanes.

Allowing other vehicles to make use of the lane would help smoothen traffic and reduce congestion during rush hours, the department said.

 
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