Vietnam metro to encourage greater use of public transportation

TN News

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Ho Chi Minh City will seek to increase the number of people using public transportation from the current 7.3 percent to 15 percent by 2015 and 30 percent by 2020.

It will also take stronger measures to limit the increase in private vehicles and promote public transportation, including increased registration fees for motorcycles and cars and improved bus services.

These details are mentioned in a resolution passed by the city's Party unit that seeks to reduce traffic congestion and gridlocks.

The city, which has a population of more than seven million, suffers from regular gridlocks and a lack of parking space in downtown areas. It has more than 4.5 million motorcycles and 500,000 cars. An average of 1,000 motorcycles and 100 cars are registered everyday.

The plan envisages construction of metro lines, rapid transit system and trams.

It will move the Mien Dong and Mien Tay bus terminals to outskirt areas, while other bus terminals will be widened and upgraded.

New bus lines will be opened and 1,600 old buses will be replaced with new ones that use compressed natural gas instead of gasoline. The new buses will  offer better access to disabled people.

To reduce subsidies for buses, they will be allowed to carry advertisements.

The municipal Transport Department will launch a pilot project to ban all private vehicles on certain streets at specific times. It will also increase parking fees in central areas.

Under the plan, the city would either use its budget or attract private investment to widen major crossroads and facilitate the construction of new roads and bridges.

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