Ho Chi Minh City officials on Saturday suggested using more buses within their public transportation system as a solution to chronic traffic congestion in the southern city.
A HCMC Traffic Safety Committee meeting was told the city had an estimated 61 large traffic jams between January and October, tripling the number for 2007. In October alone, there were 12 traffic jams lasting from four to nine hours each.
HCMC Transport Department director, Tran Quang Phuong, said traffic congestion is getting worse in the city, pointing to road work barriers as the chief contributor to the gluts.
Meanwhile, the number of vehicles hitting the streets is on the rise. An additional 147 cars and 1,600 motorcycles are registered in the city each day, bringing the total number of registered vehicles to 4.2 million vehicles.
Flooding in major arterial roads caused by torrential rains and insufficient roadway drainage is also a major contributor to the problem.
But HCMC Police Department deputy director, Ngo Minh Chau, said traffic some of the jams were partly caused by buses clogging the streets and motorbike lanes.
Among the solutions put forward, HCMC People’s Committee chairman, Le Hoang Quan, said the city will look to increasing the size of its fleet of small and medium sized buses.
Authorities were also asked to punish contractors failing to finish road works on time and to place more traffic wardens at crossroads of high traffic density streets.
Quan also called for accounting of the number of vehicles registered outside HCMC using the city streets.