VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi may ban private vehicles from the central areas and streets, as well as issue limitations on the registration of new vehicles.
This is the content of the private vehicle restriction project in the 2016-2020 period, as proposed by the Department of Transportation Hanoi. The project aims to solve the traffic jam problem of the capital city, which has become more and more pressing.
After failing to reach the private vehicle restriction target outlined in the traffic congestion reduction programme in the 2012-2015 period, the capital decided to spend VND2.1 trillion ($93.6 million) on erasing 50 congestion points and limiting private vehicles within for the next five years.
The number of private vehicles in Hanoi is growing rapidly. According to the Hanoi Road and Railway Traffic Police Department, in the first eight months of 2015, the capital saw 183,000 newly-registered vehicles, including more than 39,000 cars and 143,000 motorcycles, bringing the total number to 5.5 million of which approximately 535,000 are cars and more than 4.9 million are motorcycles. The figure does not include vehicles registered in other provinces that are used to travel around Hanoi.
There are 18,000-22,000 newly-registered motorcycles and 6,000-8,000 newly-registered cars on the streets each month. The situation will get worse in 2018 when the import tariff on cars will be reduced.
The rapid increase of private vehicles on the streets and inability to renew the traffic infrastructure puts pressure on the capital.
Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular can learn how to restrict private vehicles from developed countries. In numerous big cities around the world, walking and bicycles account for 10-20 per cent of total traffic. In cities considered the kingdom of cars, namely New York, San Francisco, Washington, and Boston, the proportion of pedestrians and cyclers is more than 10 per cent. Thus, encouraging people to walk or ride a bike and use public transportation is an effective solution.
Charging private vehicle owners with high tax rates and fees is another solution. Singapore has one of the highest ratio of vehicles per kilometre of road with 281 and now charges an additional fee up to 180 per cent of the vehicle’s regular price to restrict new registrations.
“The implementation of the private vehicle restriction project will impact residents’ lives and enterprises’ operation. Thus, the authorities must issue the project implementation schedule as soon as possible in order to give residents time to adapt. Besides, issuing a schedule will put pressure on developers to speed major subway and metro projects,” said Nguyen Van Thanh, former deputy head of the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.