Thursday , December 8 2022

HCMC streets become defacto pick up spots for sleeper buses

Several streets in HCMC’s inner area are being used by sleeper buses to pick up passengers who find this arrangement convenient, but at the expense of traffic order and safety.

On Tuesday afternoon, four sleeper buses stood in a line on Hung Vuong Street in District 5, waiting for passengers, although they are not allowed to do so.

They kept their engines running, their doors open, and their turn signals flashing. all the things to avoid being fined for illegal parking.

After waiting for around one hour, several passengers boarded the buses and they left for their destinations, including the south-central province of Binh Thuan and the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.

Sleeper buses Xe khách các hãng Cúc Phương, Hải Duyên, đậu thành hai hàng trên đường Nguyễn Duy Dương, quận 5, chờ gòm khách giữa tháng 11. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh

Sleeper buses stop along Nguyen Duy Duong Street in District 5 in in HCMC’s District 5 in November, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh

While they parked illegally on the street to pick up passengers, the buses occupied two of the street’s three lanes, causing congestion on the remaining lane.

A similar situation prevailed around 300m away on a section of Nguyen Duy Duong Street, with several sleeper buses waiting to pick up passengers and luggage before leaving for Dong Nai Province, which borders HCMC, and Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta.

The buses had more than 30 seats each and occupied more than half of the street’s width while bus operators plied their trade on the sidewalk.

“Instead of wasting time and money traveling all the way to the terminals, I can easily take the bus here. All I have to do is make a call and book a ticket,” said Bui Thanh, a woman from Binh Thuan Province.

Sleeper buses are supposed to operate from the Eastern Bus Terminal in Binh Thanh District, where passengers take buses to travel to localities to the east of HCMC as also central provinces. The city has recently moved the boarding point for many intra-locality routes to the new terminal near the border of Thu Duc City and Binh Duong Province.

Sleeper buses park on Tran Binh Trong Street in HCMCs District 5, November 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh

Sleeper buses park on Tran Binh Trong Street in HCMC’s District 5, November 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh

Meanwhile, buses operating routes to Mekong Delta localities can operate from the Western Bus Terminal in the outlying district of Binh Tan.

Instead of using the terminals, many sleeper buses usually gather from late night to early morning every day on Le Hong Phong and Tran Binh Trong streets in District 5 to pick up passengers, saving the latters from long travel and thus winning more customers.

“This area is not different from a bus station,” said Pham Xuan, a man who lives on Tran Binh Trong Street.

HCMC has around 58 transport businesses operating around 1,600 buses on fixed routes with fixed stops. Then there are more than 1,350 transport firms operating 91,000 buses that can be chartered for various purposes.

City authorities have reported several cases of unlicensed bus rides and defacto stations in downtown areas over many years, particularly in Districts 1, 4 and 5.

In its latest response to such practices, the HCMC Department of Transport proposed Wednesday that sleeper buses are banned from downtown areas from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Dec. 15.

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