September 26, 2018 18:13

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Planning the Hanoi passenger bus station: Is it 'rich backward'?

18:38 | 14/09/2018

VCN- According to the project planning the passenger bus stations, and parks in Hanoi until 2030, vision to 2050, most of the inter-provincial bus stations such as My Dinh, Giap Bat, Gia Lam, Nuoc Ngam will be eliminated; they will be located in the suburbs which are 10 to 20 km from the city center to ensure the traffic order. It is said that this plan would make the owners of passenger cars and passengers’ travel more difficult because the current connection with the city has not been completed, and is going against the general trend of the world...

planning the hanoi passenger bus station is it rich backward

Would you like to comment on the passenger bus station plan in Hanoi in the past?

I have worked in the passenger bus station since 1992, and the plan of the station has been broken. The urban terminals were moved and the buildings and commercial centers were built in these places. The reason for moving the stations was to reduce the congestion, but the buildings with thousands of people caused more traffic jams than the stations.

The authorities argue that the planning of the station outside the city aims to limit the congestion and the risk of traffic accidents, but in fact, road transport becomes more difficult for people and the transportation services of enterprises are also slim.

The reason is that the infrastructure system connecting between city centers and bus stations in many provinces has many shortcomings. There are almost none in Hanoi, while Ho Chi Minh City may have a metro system in the coming time. This will be a difficult problem if another way is not found. From the view of station management, I think that the current mechanism is extremely blind, which causes negative development considered as "wealth backward".

Many ideas think that moving the bus terminals out of the city will reduce the number of vehicles entering the city, thereby reducing congestion in the inner city. Could you give us your opinion on this issue?

There are certain consequences when moving the bus station from the inner city to the beltway 2, beltway 3 in Hanoi. Specifically, transferring Kim Lien station into Giap Bat station reduced congestion on Tran Nhan Tong street but caused congestion on Gia Phong road, transferring Kim Ma station into My Dinh station caused congestion on beltway 3… Moving from one location to another will reduce the congestion in this position but will increase the congestion elsewhere. This is like a bicycle inner tube which squeezes here bulges there.

Traffic jams in the inner city are not due to the stations there, but because the private means of transport exceed transport capacity, so transport infrastructure must be developed, private means of transport must be restricted, and organizing transportation needs to be implemented scientifically. At the same time, awareness of people involved in traffic should be improved

planning the hanoi passenger bus station is it rich backward
Planning for moving Hanoi bus stations should be researched thoroughly. Picture: collected.

In your opinion, how should the planning for bus stations be done?

The bus station planning is only "hot" in the big cities, specifically such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi alone, we should announce clearly the planning of bus stations and on that basis we could organize the bidding for the economic sectors to participate. We should regulate clearly what the State will do and what the private sector will do. As far as I know, the current State policy is to socialize the stations. But now, creating favorable conditions for people is contradicting with the management, but we have to put people first. If the stations are moved too far, it will be difficult for people to move, and moreover, the traffic itself will also be confused, so, moving the stations out of the central area is not suitable. Not many countries in the world move bus stations out of the center like us. Hanoi should make clear on the station planning, on the planning criteria and should arrange the stations in coordination with other forms of transportation. For example, the bus stations must be the connecting point for rail, roads, metro...

Moving the Hanoi stations should be researched and planned thoroughly, and if they can not be transferred to this position now, then to other alternatives after that. Based on that plan, the city will call for investment.

In particular, in my opinion, the usage period of 20 years is not unreasonable. Bus stations are big investments and businesses that want to invest in this also need time to recover capital and achieve a reasonable profit. Without calculating carefully and reasonably, it will be difficult to socialize and attract the investment in the development of the stations. Therefore, it is necessary to plan for maintaining stable passenger bus stations for the long term. Specifically, in big cities like Hanoi and HCMC where the land funds are limited, the conditional stations should be studied with the potential to be upgraded into a high-rise stations. This is to improve the capacity and quality of services, and meet the requirements of traffic safety.

Thanks Sir!

By Xuan Thao/ Binh Minh