The transport ministry has allowed Hanoi, which has possibly the country’s worst traffic jams, to plan its own measures to reduce private vehicles to prevent the traffic situation from worsening.
Nguyen Duc Chung, chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, said at a meeting Monday that 18,000-20,000 new motorbikes and 6,000-8,000 new cars are registered every month.
The numbers are expected to rise from 2018 when several vehicle taxes are cut, going up to nearly one million cars and seven million motorbikes by 2020.
Vehicles coming into the city from outside make things worse.
The capital needs “aggressive” solutions to control the proliferation of private vehicles in the next four or five years, the city mayor said.
Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said at the meeting that Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s two largest cities, should be proactive in controlling traffic and the ministry would help wherever necessary.
He said the cities use different means for different areas, vehicles and timings.
In November HCMC too had reported an increase in private vehicle registrations, with almost 4,200 new cars and 9,000 motorbikes hitting the streets every month.
Private vehicles are blamed for the worsening traffic jams and air pollution in the cities.
Buses are the only public transport available in the cities, but passenger numbers are falling as a lack of investment makes the service inconvenient.
HCMC is now building a metro, but the first service linking the downtown area with District 9 will only begin in 2018 if work remains on schedule.
Hanoi’s elevated railroad is expected to be ready for use next December.
The cities plan to have public transport meet 20-25 percent of travel demand by 2020.