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Vietnam firm recruits drivers qualified to drive 30-seat buses to steer 55-seat vehicles

Vietnam firm recruits drivers qualified to drive 30-seat buses to steer 55-seat vehicles

Monday, March 09, 2015, 17:47 GMT+7

The scarcity of drivers for large buses has become so acute that the Ho Chi Minh City Transport Company has agreed to recruit drivers having D licenses, who are allowed to drive passenger vehicles with up to 30 seats, to steer buses with 55 seats.

On January 5, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper journalists followed a driver named D. to take part in a recruitment session at the company, with the abbreviated name of Citranco, on Tran Phu Street in Ward 8 of District 5.

D. has a D-level driver’s license but was given a test to drive a 55-seat bus.

Though his driving skills with the 55-seat bus were judged ‘weak’, D. was recruited by the company to drive such buses on the 59 and 69 routes in the city.

Route 59 connects District 8 and District 12, while Route 69 runs from District 1 to Tan Binh District.

Citranco, with 200 drivers, manages eight city bus routes, two of which use 40-seat buses, while the remainder use 55-seat vehicles.

Asked about possible punishment by traffic police, a driver with a D license from Citranco said simply, “It is the job of the company.” He hinted that his firm will ‘cover’ any punishment for the wrongdoing.

“Now, drivers with a D license are mostly unemployed, but those having the E license [allowed to drive buses of over 30 seats] are hunted by all transport companies,” said the driver.

Dr. Tran Huu Minh, a lecturer at the Hanoi Transport University, said that each space occupied by a passenger standing in a bus must be counted as a seat.

So technically most Citranco buses often carry more than 55 passengers when they are fully loaded. 

Nguyen Van Quyen, deputy head of the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam under the Ministry of Transport, said Citranco is wrong to assign drivers with a D license to drive a bus that technically has 55 seats.

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