Motorcyclists encroach on a sidewalk in Hanoi to escape traffic jams on the street, April 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
I used to ride my motorbike 30 km from home to work and always arrived early. But recently, when my back pain forced me to stay at a friend’s house, just 7 km from the office, to shorten my commute, I started running late.
When I was away from the office, I used to go to bed early so that I could get up at 5:30 a.m. and leave the house at 6:15 a.m. Now I stay closer to the office, I’ve allowed myself to stay up late and wake up a little later, and hit the road when everyone else does, and consequently get stuck in traffic.
In Saigon, just hit the road five to ten minutes early to escape the morning rush hour. Otherwise, you will spend 25 minutes for a five kilometer journey. My friends in Hanoi told me the distance would take them over an hour during rush hour.
I now understand why I went to work much earlier than my colleagues closer to the company.
We spend too much time and work on motorcycles and money.
A study by market research firm AMR Group in 2020 showed that an average worker traveling by motorbike in Vietnam traveled 649 km per month, almost the distance from Hanoi to Hue, or nearly 7,800 km per month. year, longer than from Hanoi to Sydney.
They spent nearly 8.5 million VND ($346) a year on gasoline and motorcycle maintenance.
There are several attitudes towards motorcycling: respectful because it is the means of livelihood of many people; annoyed by common problems with individual vehicles; and stuck because we have to admit that it is convenient amid the lack of public transportation, and we also have to admit that commuting is often tiring and time-consuming.
Public transport is the only solution to free us. I really long for the day when I can sit on a subway train, listen to music or read a book on the way to work and back home.