Lower fuel prices prompt transport fare cuts country-wide

Thanh Nien News

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A bus terminal in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang A bus terminal in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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Transport fares have been cut by between 3 percent and 18 percent on average at many cities and provinces following fuel price drops, the finance ministry said Friday.
The fare cap for economy-class domestic flights has dropped 15 percent from the beginning of this year as instructed by the Transport Ministry.
Railroad fares fell 10 percent since fuel prices dropped continuously last July.
Reports from 38 cities and provinces showed that taxi fares have been cut by 3-10 percent, road passenger transport fares 5-10 percent and road cargo transport fares 3-18 percent.
Inspection teams of the transport ministry started checking road and air fares on January 10 as many businesses have failed to cut prices after significant drops in fuel prices.
Vietnamese fuel retailers have cut prices 13 times straight since last July amid the global oil price dips.
The price of the country’s most popular gasoline grade 92-octane (92 RON) has dropped by nearly 31.5 percent to VND17,570 (82 US cents) a liter on January 6.
The Finance and Transport Ministries have several times called for transport companies to reduce fares.
Threats of penalties have been made, but no transport operators have been punished.
Deviating from government mandated price caps in Vietnam carries fines that range from VND5 to 30 million ($234-1,403). Violators must submit the money they’ve earned through their violation to the state budget.
The Finance Ministry last month announced to reduce the airfare cap on economy-class domestic routes by 15 percent to VND4,250 (20 cents) per passenger per kilometer from January 1, 2015.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) proposed the cut earlier, saying that the dip in international oil prices by December has saved carriers’ cost by 17 percent.
But representatives from local carriers at the time said they were already charging 10 to 20 percent below the new cap.

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