​‘Water taxi’ among award-winning solutions to solve Hanoi’s traffic nightmare

A ‘water taxi’ service is proposed to connect the northern and southern sides of West Lake

An artist's impression of a 'water taxi'

While local media and the public were unhappy that the prize-winning entry of a contest seeking solutions to Hanoi’s traffic congestion was undisclosed, they may be surprised to find out what that solution is.

The contest, launched by the Hanoi administration and transport department in January, found no winner for its whopping grand prize of US$200,000 and awarded only the second prize which went to a joint entry submitted by a Vietnamese entity and two Japanese partners.

Five other shortlisted submissions received $25,000 in support each.

The contest organizers held an awards ceremony in secret at Hanoi’s administration headquarters last Friday, with the public kept in the dark on details of the winning entry.

Amongst disagreement from local media and the public, details about the second-prize winner, jointly proposed by the Vietnam Institute for Urban and Rural Planning (VIUP), Nikken Sekkei Civi Engineering LTD (NSC), and Nikken Sekkei Reseach Institute (NSRI), were finally publicized on Tuesday.

The three-member team proposed a set of solutions, including developing a ‘water taxi’ service, building a new belt road and improving the city’s existing bus system.

According to the proposal, the ‘water taxi’ service will run only on the Ho Tay (West Lake), reducing traffic pressure when traveling between the lake’s northern and southern sides and adding to the capital’s tourism offering.

Several ‘water taxi’ stops are proposed at squares, parks and public places around the 550-hectare lake. The stations will be situated at least one kilometer apart from each another. If people want to walk between two stops, the real distance around the lake will be five kilometers, according to the proposal.

The 'water taxi' stops on West Lake
The 'water taxi' stops on West Lake

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