Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are expected to add some 300 new low-floor buses to its existing fleet in a bid to provide better services and convenience for disabled passengers.
The announcement was made at a press conference held in the Vietnam’s southern hub on Tuesday morning, and is aimed at improving public transport for the disabled.
During the event, several handicapped passengers spoke of the challenges of normal buses, including difficulty boarding and experiencing poor behavior from bus drivers and other employees.
Some bus operators were not willing to assist physically impaired passengers and even avoided picking them up, some participants said.
According to Tran Chi Trung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Public Passenger Management and Operation Center, the number of disabled bus passengers has declined in recent years.
The official pledged to enact certain measures to support and encourage the handicapped to use public transport.
Drivers and employees who have behaved improperly toward any passengers will be sanctioned, Trung asserted, adding that such incidents could be reported to the agency via the hotline 1022.
Le Hoang Minh, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport, said that he had been urging local transport companies and cooperatives to invest in low-floored buses, along with other specialized equipment, to provide the best service for disabled passengers.
About 263 out of 2,512 buses across the city are equipped with tools to lower their floor in order to assist disabled passengers, Minh said.
Entry and exit paths for the disabled have also been constructed at some 350 out of 497 local bus stops, the deputy director continued.
The Ho Chi Minh City transport department has issued over 11,000 fare-free cards to handicapped citizens, he stated, adding that approximately 300 low-floor buses would be added to the fleet in the near future.