According to the most recent plan of Hanoi, from 2025, motorbikes will be stopped in the districts within the ring road 3 and Truong Sa, Hoang Sa and National Highway 5 back to the city center. In addition, after 2030, the city will stop operating motorbikes in the districts within the range from Ring 4 to the south of the Red River and Ring 3 to the north of the Red River.
The capital city of Hanoi currently has nearly 8 million people with 6.4 million vehicles, of which 5.6 million motorbikes, 600,000 cars, and about 2 million more temporary vehicles, how are they going to travel without this most common vehicle?
A common scene everyday at rush hours in Hanoi (Source: the Internet)
The reaction to this new plan has been conflicting, mainly negatively, as most people asked believe that the city needs to have better public transportation plan rather than simply banning motorbikes.
Prof. Dr. Dang Dinh Dao, former Director of the Institute for Economic Research and Development, Hanoi National University of Economics, supported the project, but the 2025 proposal that bans motorbikes in the inner city is too hasty: “Hanoi needs to evaluate what preparations have been made for this motorbike ban. Currently, there are no means of connection, the transport capacity of buses is too weak, while the urban railway, there is only one Cat Linh - Ha Dong route that has not been effective. BRT bus is considered a failure and “bankrupt”. However, by 2025, banning motorbikes is too hasty and will fail again...”.
According to Dr. Nguyen Huu Duc, a traffic expert, “The simplest question is how to ban people from traveling, if you can't answer, you can't ban motorbikes. If there was a policy of banning from 30 years ago when motorbikes were not the main type of transportation, it could be possible, but at the moment it is almost impossible”.
Developing public transportation is the only way to cope with the rapid growth of private vehicle in Hanoi (Source: the Internet)
There are also doubts and questions about the future of current motorbikes, increasing unemployment among people whose main jobs are shipping or delivery, the rapid growth of cars in the inner city where roads are not designed for cars (yet).
If Hanoi still chooses to ban motorbikes in 2025 from Ring Road 3 onwards, from now on, there must be a clear action plan and strategy. The first thing to do is to develop public transport in the Ring Road 3 network, considering the connecting bus network; urban railway lines that have been deployed must be organized with appropriate connections, lines which are being deployed need to speed up progress. At the same time, the city must open more express bus routes, branch buses, develop bicycle rental utilities.
Repost of my article on Vietnam Insider