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Hanoi public transport ridership up over 50% in 9 months
Ngoc Mai 11:39, 2023/10/10
The public passenger transport system is becoming increasingly popular as it is convenient, time-saving, and helps reduce the number of private vehicles on the road.

In the first nine months of 2023, Hanoi’s public passenger transport system witnessed a remarkable resurgence, carrying over 417.2 million passengers, up 56.8% year-on-year and met 96.4% of the projected target. 

 A bus rapid transit (BRT) in Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times

In particular, the Cat Linh - Ha Dong urban railway alone transported approximately 7.2 million passengers, generating an estimated total revenue of VND55.1 billion ($2.26 million).

Vu Hong Truong, General Director of Hanoi Metro Company, said that during the initial phase of operation, which coincided with periods of social distancing, daily ridership averaged around 10,000 passengers. Now, on regular working days, the line's daily ridership is around 35,000 passengers.

In addition to the growth observed in urban railways, the bus system also achieved remarkable results. Throughout the first nine months of the year, the total revenue of the entire bus network reached an estimated VND410.2 billion ($16.8 million).

The network operated some 5.45 million vehicles and carried 410 million passengers, an impressive 57.1% increase compared to the same period in 2022, reaching 94.7% of the target plan. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line alone transported about 3.4 million passengers.

Furthermore, in 2023, Hanoi introduced bike-sharing services, providing residents with an additional mode of transportation.

Do Ba Dan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tri Nam Group, the operator of public bike-sharing in Hanoi, reported that more than 28,240 people had registered to use the service within just under nine days of its launch. The system recorded 17,024  trips, averaging more than 5 kilometers each, signaling a positive response to this mode of transportation.

Public transportation is becoming increasingly popular because it is convenient, saves time, and helps reduce the number of private vehicles on the road, thereby easing traffic congestion and reducing environmental impact.

Moreover, there has been significant enhancement in the service quality of public transport. Train and bus staff undergo training and skill improvement, with a focus on providing the most attentive service to passengers.

A representative of the Hanoi Public Transport Management Center emphasized that the city's bus system has seen improvements in both quantity and quality. Aging vehicles have been replaced with new ones, and dilapidated bus shelters have been renovated, repaired, and expanded to better serve passengers.

 Hanoi introduces bike-sharing services this year. Photo: Pham Cong/The Hanoi Times

Building a modern traffic culture

Truong from the Hanoi Metro noted that the launch of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway has initiated a change in travel habits and is gradually cultivating a civilized way of riding public transport in Hanoi.

"We are witnessing the emergence of a more civilized and modern traffic culture," Truong shared.

Previously, locals who needed to travel short distances often relied on private vehicles. Now, however, people are willing to walk longer distances to reach public transport stations, which contributes positively to mitigating traffic congestion and environmental pollution in large cities.

With the introduction of modern public transportation services that emphasize civilized customer service, passengers are gradually changing their conduct. Undesirable behaviors such as littering, loud talking, eating and drinking on board, and looking the other way when asked to give up their seats by the elderly and pregnant women are decreasing.

"The encouraging news is that this culture of civility and modern traffic etiquette is not limited to the Cat Linh - Ha Dong route but is spreading to other forms of public transportation in Hanoi, including buses," Truong said.

Dao Duy Huy, a resident of Ha Dong, shared his perspective: "After many years of commuting to school and work via bus and more recently, by train, I believe that this mode of transportation is very much in tune with the times. It fosters a sense of community. Compared to previous years, I've noticed that people are gradually becoming more conscientious about using public transportation."

To further promote the advantages of public transportation, experts call for Hanoi to continue to accelerate investments in transportation infrastructure networks. The completion of the urban railway system and its interchange with public buses and bicycles will attract more people to public transport, reducing reliance on personal vehicles.

Additionally, the quality of service plays a pivotal role in attracting people to use public transportation. Adequate and high-quality bus and train shelters are necessary for the convenience of passengers. Furthermore, vehicle quality, as well as the attitudes and behavior of employees in dealing with customers, must be continuously improved and professionalized to cultivate a culture of modern traffic etiquette.

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