Hanoi: Stop inefficient bus routes
Hanoi buses are facing a series of difficulties and problems, causing a sharp drop in passenger volume and difficult to improve quality. Hanoi city will consider stopping the operation of inefficient bus routes, and will not allow having a 95-96% subsidy route because this is a waste and inefficient use of the budget.
The Deputy Director of the Hanoi Public Transport Management Center (Tramoc) Thai Ho Phuong said that in 2022, the volume of public transport by bus will reach 340 million passengers, only about 60% of the period before the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, Hanoi set a target for public transport to solve 21.5-23% of the people's travel needs, but in reality the statistics was only 18%. Also, in 2022, the total number of passengers reached 340 million passengers (up 67.7% over the same period in 2021), of which subsidised buses reached 334 million passengers (up 72% compared to the same period in 2021).
The number of passengers was not as high as expected because the service quality of bus operations is not guaranteed, which is often affected by traffic congestion, especially during peak hours. The travel time of passengers, the transport infrastructure for passenger access to buses are not attractive enough for the majority of passengers. Moreover, the bus network still has some shortcomings in terms of the network's structure and the feeder bus system is lacking. The network density is not equal between the central and suburban areas and new areas. Adjacent buses connecting inter-regions are still not frequent enough and lacking. Currently, there are 12 adjacent bus routes that need to be researched and supplemented with inter-regional adjacent buses. Moreover, due to the impact of the Covid-19, Hanoi Transport Corporation (Transerco) is short of about 400 drivers, ticket sales staff.
Infrastructure wise, some sidewalk sections are not wide enough to install waiting stations for passengers, even at some points, there is no sidewalk to install stops. Bus infrastructure is often used for other purposes and sometimes turned into street vendors, parking stops, etc., significantly affecting the operation of the bus and the safety of passengers while waiting for the bus of getting off the bus. The stability of the bus infrastructure is not guaranteed, as out of the total of 127 terminals, 96 positions (75.6%) are located at the roadside and empty lot.
Also, when it comes to bidding for bus routes and services, the estimated price is between 12,000-17,000 VND ($0.51 - $0.72)/liter of diesel, however, the fluctuation of the world's fuel price affect this bid price greatly. Therefore, the enterprise proposes to the State management agency to have an appropriate support plan.
Bus company needs to develop a set of route efficiency criteria based on output, revenue, and price subsidies, on that basis, the city will consider stopping the operation of inefficient bus routes. As a result, it is not possible to have a subsidy line of 95-96% because this is a wasteful and inefficient use of the budget.
The Hanoi Department of Transport has proposed to the Hanoi People's Committee to invite an independent consultant to evaluate the overall bus network of the city, and to prepare to deploy the inter-connected electronic ticket card to ensure revenue transparency and convenience for passengers when using the bus.
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