Hanoi wants to reduce buses during rush hours

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Vehicles crowd a street in Hanoi. Photo: Ha An Vehicles crowd a street in Hanoi. Photo: Ha An


In its latest attempt to solve traffic congestion which has been obviously worsening over the years, Hanoi's transport authority now plans to reduce the number of bus services during rush hours.
The plan will target buses that have to travel pass public construction sites, Nguyen Hoang Hai, director of the city's center for urban transport management, said at a meeting on Thursday.
According to figures from Hanoi's traffic police, 11 infrastructure projects are taking place around Hanoi with 27 construction sites.
At the sites, barriers are established for safety, but since they take up a considerable part of street areas, traffic is badly affected, police said, estimating that 23 spots near the sites are prone to congestion.
In another proposal, Dao Vinh Thang, chief of the city's traffic police division, said some routes can be changed to make sure buses do not enter congestion-prone spots. 
He said without designated lanes, whenever a bus makes a stop, a whole line of vehicles behind it will be blocked. 
Speaking at the meeting, Vu Van Vien, director of Hanoi's transport department, voiced his support.
Even though buses can help transport a lot of people, they are also one of the reasons for congestion during rush hours, he said.
Fewer buses may mean that passengers have to wait for more than 20 minutes instead of 5-10 minutes, but it is still better than hours in traffic jams, Vien said.
At the meeting, Hanoi's transport authority also slammed contractors of public construction projects for delays which have worsened traffic congestion.
South Korean contractor Daelim of the elevated railway project Nhon-Hanoi, for instance, was fined VND75 million ($3,300) for sluggish work.
Hanoi reported nearly 15,000 new motorbikes and 4,000 new cars every month.

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