Hanoi to pilot first BRT route

VietNamNet Bridge – Ha Noi Transport Department will operate the first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) pilot route from December 15, department deputy director Ha Huy Quang told local media on Tuesday, Nov 29.

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The first BRT system in Ha Noi will run next month. — Photo: VNA/VNS

The BRT route, covering 14.7 km, will begin at the Kim Ma Station in Ba Dinh District up till the Yen Nghia Station in Ha Dong District.

It will run through Giang Vo, Lang Ha, Le Van Luong and Le Trong Tan, as well as Tran Phu and Ba La streets.

Some 21 bus stops have been built on the 14.7 km route, with a bus departing every five minutes and each carrying up to 90 passengers. Each bus is equipped with GPS system connected with a centre assisting in resolving incidents.

It will take an estimated 30 minutes to travel the entire route, as opposed to the current one hour or more.

The cost of the project is set at VND1.1 trillion (US$53.6 million) and is being financed through World Bank loans.

Ha Noi Transport and Services Corporation (Transerco) has set up a BRT enterprise, which specialises in operating the bus route, Quang said, adding that the BRT route will be prioritised in terms of traffic lights and lanes. Cars and taxis are restricted from entering the priority lanes for BRT buses.

However, there are not separate lanes, only priority ones for BRT buses, therefore the bus model in Ha Noi is called “priority bus”, not “rapid bus” yet, he said.

Next month, the city will run four new bus routes: Nhon-Tay Dang, Yen Nghia-Phu Tuc, Yen Nghia-Son Tay and Kim Ma-Noi Bai.

According to Quang, financial assistance from the city authorities for buses has decreased in recent years, from VND1.078 trillion ($47.9million) in 2014 to a projected VND957 billion ($42.5million) this year, presumably because of the oil and petrol price plunge.

In this context, the city has still made efforts to improve bus services and invested in bus infrastructure. Bus networks have been continuously expanded. Many suburban districts and new urban areas have access to buses, such as Quoc Oai District; Xuan Mai area; and Xa La, Van Phu, Linh Dam, My Dinh, Tu Hiep and Kien Hung urban areas.

Nguyen Cong Nhat, Transerco deputy director, said the high-quality bus routes were put into operation with new buses, new bus colors and new employee uniforms. Free wifi is available on 15 routes with 200 buses. Until the second quarter of next year, the company plans to have free wifi on all operating routes.

Regarding plans for next year, municipal Transport Department’s deputy director Ha Huy Quang said in 2017, the public transport sector of the city will look to improving the passenger capacity and bettering service quality. Some 14 new routes will be added next year, increasing the total number of bus routes in the city to 115.

Priority lanes for buses will be studied on three routes -- Phap Van-Giai Phong-Dai Co Viet intersection, Nguyen Van Cu-Ngo Gia Tu and Pham Hung-Khuat Duy Tien-Linh Dam.

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