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Hanoi prioritizes public network in 2024: Municipal officials
Son Nguyen 22:03, 2024/01/10
Urban public transport system remains inefficient due to poor infrastructure development.

Hanoi authorities have set the improvement of public transport as one of their priorities for 2024, a meeting heard on January 10.

People in Hanoi use public bicycles to get around. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Nguyen Phi Thuong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Transport, said the city's public transport network carried 510 million passengers in 2023, accounting for 19.5% of the total number of commuters in Hanoi.

The figure lags behind the target of 30-35% set by the Program 03 for Urban Development and Renovation in 2021-2025, as the system of urban railways, BRT system and public buses remains incomplete, he said.

Hanoi plans to build a 418km urban rail network, but so far only 11km of the 2A urban rail line, which connects Yen Nghia district in Ha Dong district with Cat Linh district in Dong Da district, has been commissioned. Local authorities are working on two other projects, which will cover a total of 37km, while the rest remain on paper. Meanwhile, buses are still unpopular because of the time they take, especially during rush hours, and poor route planning.

"As the capital's transport infrastructure is under development, public transport lines are not well connected and passengers find them less convenient compared to private cars," he said.

The transport director said Hanoi will provide other types of public transport vehicles, especially shared bicycles at railway stations and in central districts, and will open two new bicycle lanes on Lang Road and around Hoa Binh Park.

Nguyen Doan Toan, Deputy Head of the Program 03 Steering Committee, said the main obstacles to developing the mass transit network include the lack of new urban railways, limited resources for bus development, and low fares.

"We have feasibility reports and preparations for some projects, but cumbersome administrative procedures have hampered their progress, especially those subject to ODA loan conditions," Toan said.

At a meeting on the implementation of the capital's planning for the 2021-2050 term, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung urged Hanoi to focus on mass infrastructure development as it is key to the capital's growth. "Local infrastructure must be modern, environmentally friendly and benefit the city's transport network. The focus should be on major urban railway projects," he said.

Safe water supply, reconstruction of old tenements remain major tasks

Vu Duy Tuan, Deputy Director of Hanoi's Department of Planning and Investment, said the city will fulfill all the tasks related to safe water supply under Programme 03.

He said the city has carried out five major projects and taken measures to ensure that all communes have safe water by 2025. By the end of 2023, the total tap water supply for the whole city was 1.53 million cubic meters per day, meeting 100% of people's needs.

"About 90% of all people living in rural communes now have access to tap water," he said.

Other major tasks for 2024 include the rebuilding of dilapidated tenements, the construction of new water pumping stations to improve environmental protection, and the renovation of urban landscapes.

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