HCMC would need tougher measures to limit the use of motorbikes, which are favored for their convenience, according to a transport expert.
Vu Anh Tuan, director of the Transport Development Study Center, Vietnamese-German University, on Wednesday said motorbikes are in demand due to their smaller sizes, capability to enter narrow spaces, and freedom from time constraints, unlike public transport.
A 2018 study by the Vietnamese-German University, which surveyed 2,000 people living in six major urban areas in Vietnam, provided a scenario where HCMC’s bus network grows by two-three times by 2030, with six-seven metro lines and a threefold increase in parking fees. Yet 70 percent of respondents said they would still use motorbikes.
“It shows that even with a developed public transport network, the majority of people would still choose motorbikes,” said Tuan, adding that despite rising incomes and car demands, people just won’t give up motorbikes. It is a challenge for the development of public transport in HCMC, he added.
The southern city needs proper urban planning and development that prioritizes public transport, Tuan said. It would also need to deploy impactful policies like increasing registration, parking and emission fees to gradually limit the use of motorbikes, he said.
In the next five years, HCMC would also need to have regulations regarding safety criteria for motorbikes. In the next decade, the city needs to develop its public transport system, expanding its bus and metro networks, along with introducing policies to limit the use of personal vehicles, Tuan said.
For now, HCMC should build connective systems to increase people’s access to public transport and to act as a stepping stone for future metro networks.
Tuan cited the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line, saying that with a dedicated bus system in the city to help people access the metro line, there could be a 62 percent increase in the number of metro passengers in 2024, when the metro is expected to go public, compared to if there is no such bus system.
As part of a governmental resolution to ensure order, safety and prevent traffic congestion for the 2022-2025 period, Vietnam plans to either limit or ban motorbikes from certain districts in Hanoi, HCMC, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Can Tho after 2030. The country is also considering collecting fees from motorized vehicles entering areas with frequent congestions.
Ho Chi Minh City had over 8.4 million vehicles – 819,000 cars and 7.6 million motorbikes – by the end of 2021.
There are around 79 cars and 309 motorbikes newly registered every day. Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of cars has increased by 3.5 percent and the number of motorbikes has increased by 2 percent, Tuan said.
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