Vehicles on a street in Tan Binh district of HCMC, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The government has asked Hanoi, HCMC and other major cities to develop clear plans to reduce the number of private vehicles and make public transportation available to combat chronic traffic jams.
In an action plan to ensure traffic order and safety released last week, he urged cities to prioritize investments in public transportation, especially mass transit.
It calls on them to create roadmaps to gradually limit the use of private cars and motorcycles in urban areas, and to better manage the use of sidewalks to ensure that pedestrians have the space to easily access the public transport.
The program also asked Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to ensure that their metro systems would be completed on time, adding that they should complete bus rapid transit systems and connect them to subways.
In April last year, the government had tasked the country’s five largest cities – Da Nang, HCMC and Can Tho being the other three – to draw up plans to restrict motorcycles in city centers.
Centrally governed cities have until 2030 to ban or restrict motorcycles in certain areas.
They were also tasked with studying and developing a system to impose fees for entry into certain areas facing a risk of congestion and pollution.
In December 2021, Hanoi unveiled a plan to ban motorcycles in central districts after 2025.
Ho Chi Minh City announced in 2019 that it would restrict, or even ban, motorcycles in a number of areas in the city center.
However, neither city has yet planned to limit the use of private vehicles.
According to official data, HCMC now has 8.4 million private vehicles, including 7.6 million motorcycles, and Hanoi has 6.4 million vehicles, including 5.6 million motorcycles.
The capital has only one operational metro line while HCMC is waiting for the first to come into service next year.