Japan launches project to ease Hanoi traffic congestion

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) introduced at a press conference Friday a pilot project to help ease traffic congestion in Hanoi.

The JICA-funded project, which will be carried out until July 2014, aims to boost the use of public transport services by improving planning capacity and piloting bus services, as well as by raising awareness of public transportation.

According to JICA, Hanoi should reduce the use of personal vehicles and create more incentives to use public transportation.

The Vietnam News Agency quoted Takagi Michimasa, an expert from JICA, as saying the increasing number of personal vehicles and restrictive infrastructure are the main causes of traffic congestion in Hanoi, especially during peak hours in the morning and evening.

He said that along with infrastructure development, authorities need to improve service quality and take financial measures to encourage locals to use public transportation, especially buses, to solve the issue.

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According to Michimasa, Hanoi should raise fees for parking cars and motorbikes to reduce personal vehicle use.

JICA statistics show there are 670 personal vehicles per 1,000 residents in Hanoi; the ratio is 675 per 1,000 residents in Ho Chi Minh City. The average ratio for the whole country is 378 per 1,000 residents.

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