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Experts discuss metro development and private vehicle restriction at EASTS
Le Anh
Thursday,  Sep 21, 2017,00:14 (GMT+7)

Experts discuss metro development and private vehicle restriction at EASTS

Le Anh

Experts chat on the sidelines of EASTS 12 in HCMC on September 19 - PHOTO: ANH QUAN

HCMC – Domestic and foreign experts at a conference in HCMC on September 19 discussed measures to make urban railway development successful and restrict private vehicle traffic in Vietnam’s major cities which have become increasingly crowded.

At the 12th International Conference of Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS 12), Jeahak Oh, vice president of the Korea Transport Institute, said populous cities in Vietnam need a thorough integration of transport planning, design, investment and management to ensure efficiency and smooth operation of the transport system.

He stressed a balance between road and metro investment and suggested major traffic infrastructure projects, especially metro lines, should be developed in the public-private partnership (PPP) format.

However, Shigeru Morichi, a Japanese expert in transportation planning and policies, and transportation Engineering, said some PPP metro line projects in East Asian cities have failed due to shortages of capital and insufficient state subsidies.

He said metro projects should be invested and operated by State-owned enterprises. When the projects begin to make profit, they could be sold to the private sector.

According to Vu Hong Truong, general director of Hanoi Metro Co Ltd, it takes Hanoi 8-10 years to complete a metro line. To speed up the construction of the metro system, the city is calling for more official development assistance (ODA) and considering developing some metro projects in the PPP format, of which basic infrastructure like tracks and stations would be developed with domestic private funding while trains and traffic signs would be invested by State-owned companies.

Speaking about private vehicle restriction and overloaded traffic infrastructure in Vietnam’s major cities, Pham Dinh Duc, head of the Road Transport Management Division under the HCMC Department of Transport, said the mushrooming of high-rise apartment and office buildings has put pressure on HCMC’s infrastructure and caused traffic jams on many roads.

“Traffic infrastructure in many parts of the city has been the victim of inappropriate urban planning. To reduce traffic congestion, the city should restrict private vehicles and at the same time develop public transit networks,” Duc said.

Lee Sungwon from the Korea Transport Institute suggested HCMC link urban planning, especially urban area development, with transport planning. According to Lee, the city’s traffic infrastructure is now unable to keep pace with the rise of residential high-rises and urban areas, especially in outlying districts.

To boost the development of public transport, deputy chief of the National Traffic Safety Committee Tran Huu Minh said the Government should have preferential policies and offer more incentives for public transport services.

Besides, there should be stronger investments into public traffic infrastructure, and service quality of public transport needs to be improved to encourage more people to use it, instead of relying on private vehicles.

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