Shocking photos reveal how Saigon traffic has gone from bad to worse

Thanh Nien News

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Vehicles are stuck near a crossroads in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
Traffic congestion on Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Tan Binh District. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
 Thousands of vehicles are stuck along Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District after working hours on September 10, 2015. The congestion reportedly stretched over three kilometers. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
 Traffic jams on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh have persisted for years. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
 Motorbikes are surrounded up by cars and buses at a circle on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh on September 10, 2015. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
A new report has found that road construction and the development of public transport in Vietnam’s largest city are falling far behind the travel demand.
The number of vehicles in Ho Chi Minh City has increased nearly 10 percent annually for the past five years, while its road space has expanded only 2 percent a year, according to the report by the transport department.
The number of vehicles has risen to more than seven million including 6.4 million motorbikes.
Pham Sanh, a transport expert, told Tuoi Tre that if all the seven million vehicles were out on the streets at the same time, they would cover up all the road space of more than 26 million square meters.
No one would be able to move, he said. 
The problem is likely to persist as the city adds around 1,000 new motorbikes and 100 new cars every day. These numbers do not include vehicles brought into the city by more than one million migrants who study and work here. 
Poor public transport is another challenge as a survey by the city public transport management center showed that a large number of passengers have switched to personal vehicles.
The number of bus passengers fell 8.9 percent in the first six months compared to the same period last year. 
Leaders of the center said the public transport system is having "several problems."
One problem is the routes are not well linked to each other and they are subject to usual changes due to road constructions.
Other problems include speeding drivers and the lack of staff support for disabled travelers or lack of respect for customers using discount tickets.
The city is now building its metro system, but the first line linking the city downtown with District 9 will only be put into use in 2018, if the project does not fall behind schedule.
Have you been caught up in any bad traffic jams in the city? Share your photos with us or tell us what you think the city can do to solve the problem.

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