A Ministry of Transport survey claims that more than 60% of residents in HCM City support the plan to restrict cars and motorbikes in the city centre.
The figures were announced at a review meeting on improving public transportation and limiting personal vehicles project in HCM City held on March 1 by the city’s Vietnam Fatherland Front. The survey was conducted with 30,000 people in 24 districts by the Department of Transport and the Transport Development and Strategy Institute under the Ministry of Transport.
The result shows that 62.56% of the residents approved of the project. However, they also asked the authorities to quickly improve the public transport system.
Over 80% supported the idea to adjust school and office hours to avoid congestion. Nearly 70% supported the idea of a congestion charge for car drivers in the city centre and 85.5% wanted the authorities to apply an automated system to issue penalty notices and fines.
The Department of Transport in HCM City has proposed to ban motorbikes completely in the inner district during 2025-2030 period and faced with opposition from many experts.
At the meeting, Nguyen Van Hau, vice chairman of HCM City Lawyers Association, said that if the authorities wanted to ban motorbikes in just six more years, they would not have enough time to deal with many problems with the city’s infrastructure and public transport system.
“Will the public transport system can replace personal vehicles by then?” he said.
He went on to say that public bus service quality left a lot to be desired and citizens still didn’t have the habit of using public transport so it would be impossible to have 15-20% of the citizens use public transport by 2020, 20.5-26.6% in 2025 and up to 36.8% in 2030.
The metro line project is behind schedule and lacks funding while the city’s waterways are being developed unprofessionally. Moreover, the city can’t manage all the outdated vehicles used by co-operatives that exist in a large number in Vietnam.
Pham Xuan Mai from HCM City University of Science and Technology suggested merging the co-operatives. Instead of giving VND1trn in subsidy each year to keep bus fares low, the local authorities should use the money to buy new electric buses, he said.
“Better buses will attract more passengers. Electric buses are also less costly,” Mai said.