HCMC to build bus-only lanes in 2017
HCMC – The HCMC Department of Transport in the first quarter of this year will finish mapping out a plan to build bus-only lanes on some roads to improve public transit services.
The streets to be chosen for the plan include Truong Chinh, Vo Thi Sau, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Nguyen Van Troi, Dien Bien Phu and Pham Van Dong.
There would be three options for implementing the plan. The first option is buses would share the motorcycle lane. In the second option, buses would be given priority to use a car lane on some roads and the final option would allow buses to travel and pick up commuters on the left lane of one-way roads.
According to the department, the plan is aimed at making it easy, convenient and fast for buses to negotiate increasingly crowded roads in the city. The number of public bus commuters in HCMC has been in decline due to poor services, so setting up bus-only lanes would help improve the situation.
Data of the HCMC Public Passenger Transport Management and Operation Center showed that last year saw a fall of 84,000 bus trips with some 3.4 million passengers.
Pham Sanh, a traffic expert, said it is feasible to build bus-only lanes on a couple of wide roads such as Vo Van Kiet, Dien Bien Phu and Pham Van Dong.
However, for downtown streets, it would prove difficult to design lanes for buses only. The city government should restrict private vehicle traffic in inner-city areas before bus-only lanes are built there, Sanh noted.