SAIGON CITY — The city government has urged the Department of Transport to crack down on illegally operating passenger buses and stations, following requests from authorised transport firms in the city.
Lê Văn Khoa, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, has asked the department to improve service quality, build more transit bus stations, create a new legal framework, and enforce fines.
In addition, the department must review the operation of passenger buses and stations and respond to authorised transport firms operating in the city, he said.
For many years, illegal buses have been a serious problem for the city’s transport industry because they have caused a loss of revenue as they are cheaper than public buses.
Unauthorised coaches are not regulated well and are seen as less safe than passenger buses authorised to operate by the city authorities.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the city has more than 2,000 authorised coaches with fixed routes, 2,797 buses and 10,790 taxis. More than 12,465 coaches are used for tourist transport.
In HCM City, more than 30 illegal coach stations and hundreds of coaches depart from the city to provinces, transporting more than 10,000 passengers each day.
A representative from the Department of Transport said that passenger and cargo transport had developed quickly in HCM City, the country’s major economic hub.
Most unauthorised coach stations are located near markets, trans-provincial coach stations and urban areas, he said, adding that drivers of illegal coaches pick up passengers at spots near their homes or at sites listed on the internet.
Licensed coaches, however, pick up and drop off passengers at bus terminals and other authorised spots.
Khoa also urged the Inspectorate of the Department of Transport to conduct more inspections of illegally operating buses.
Illegal bus drivers and owners earn high revenue as they do not pay a fee to use official stations or pay tax.
Unauthorised buses and stations create unfair competition in the transport industry and worsen public security, and create losses to the State budget.
When accidents occur, insurance or compensation benefits for passengers are reduced, said Lê Trung Tính, chairman of the Passenger Transport and Tourism Association.
Transport companies recently asked local authorities to set up a task force to check and fine all unlicensed transport companies with illegal stations.