As traffic continues to deteriorate, the town is scrambling for ways to provide more and better alternatives for public transport.

At a meeting on Monday, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City disclosed that only 9.2% of Saigoneers presently have their mobility demands met by buses and other choices for mass transportation. They also said the town has experienced an rise of 3.2 percent in users of public transport, up to 411.7 million individual journeys since the beginning of the year.

In order to attain the objective of having public transport serving 15-20 percent of the population of the town by 2020, it will be hard to accomplish a target authorities admit, the town plans to raise the amount of bus stations and routes. In addition to enhancing technologies and constructing more highways to reduce traffic, a US$ 4.1 billion infrastructure plan underlined a commitment to improve the efficiency of public transportation. As of August, the city has 137 bus routes, including 99 subsidized bus routes, relying on 2,322 buses in total.

While the demands for public transport are not met, Saigoneers are turning away from the bus more and more. The ridership fell 8.2% in the first four months of the year. The HCMC Department of Transport gave five potential reasons for the drop, including old and badly maintained vehicles; increased costs; mismanagement; reduced number of routes; and the proliferation of ride-hailing services. At the same moment, businesses show no interest in bus advertising, which reduces system income and generates a vicious cycle.

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Original news via Saigoneer