Monday, October 31, 2016

HCM City sees fall in bus passenger numbers

Bus service operators in HCM City are struggling to retain passengers although the service has continued receiving a subsidy to keep faresaffordable.
According to the HCM City Department of Transport, HCM City has 142 bus routes, with 107 receiving a subsidy. 155 local schools are also using the subsidised bus service for transporting their students.
Bus service operators in HCM City are struggling to retain passengers
Bus service operators in HCM City are struggling to retain passengers
Bus prices in HCM City now range between VND5,000-10,000 (22-44 US cents), with prices much cheaper for those who buy monthly tickets.
This year, the city will provide VND995 billion (USD47.38 million) in subsidy and the figure is expected to rise to VND1.22 trillion in 2017.
However, the low-price bus tickets are still not attractive enough to passengers. According to the HCM City Centre for Public Transport Management and Operation, in the first 10 years of this year, the number of bus users totalled 182.3 million, down 11.4% against the same period of last year and fulfilling just 61.8% of the year target.
At a recent meeting of the HCM City People’s Council, Deputy Director of the municipal Transport Department Le Quoc Minh said, it is important for the city to work out a long-term and effective strategy for bus servicedevelopment. “It is essential to investigate the public opinion that the subsidy for bus routes is ineffectiveness to find out whether any violation in the subsidy use or not.”
While some claim Grab, Uber, Uber Moto and Grab Bike are among the reasons for the decline in bus passengers in HCM City. The most obvious issue would be the poor quality of the buses and the fact that the routes may not suit all passengers.
To improve bus services, experts suggested that it is necessary to have bus lanes and replace out-dated buses with environmentally-friendly new models.
The illegal encroachment of roads and pavements by food vendors and informal parking lots should also be stopped as it prevents people from easily boarding buses. More bus routes linking districts to the city’s airport, railway station and coach stations should be opened to serve passengers. Better training for bus drivers and conductors has also been recommended


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