Hanoi Transport Corporation (Transerco) plans to develop its public bus fleet to reach all localities throughout the city in the near future, an official said.
Overcrowded public buses
Transerco General Director Nguyen Phi Thuong said the company will take out some seats in current buses in order to create more standing room space so as to increase capacity.
He said that since the first operations in 2001, public bus capacity has increased by 30 times, raising the number of passengers from initial 15 million per year to current 400 million per year.
However, according to him, public buses are becoming overcrowded.
“On some routes, during rush hour, there are buses that deal with up to 140%-200% of their capacity. Regular overcrowding is recorded at 42 bus stops, and 80-seat buses have to carry as many as 200 passengers," he said.
Due to the overload, many bus drivers are hesitant to open door to new passengers at bus stops for fear of being unable to serve all passengers. Because of high demand and the lack of seats, many passengers are will to hang on to the bus door.
Mini public buses will be developed to serve people along smaller roads and alleys, he said.
“We expect to realise this plan either at the same time as or before the project to limit private vehicles in the inner city. Initially we will increase bus capacity. We are still mulling over a plan to add more buses due to current traffic congestion,” he added.
Referring to recent complaints of bad behaviour by drivers and attendants, he added, “We’ve also required our staff to be more patient and compliant in their dealings with customers. It is, however, a stressful job, and I can sympathise with how difficult it is," he said.
The company has carried out an overall inspection over bus maintenance in order to ensure safety and reduce pollution to within the required levels, he said.