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Ho Chi Minh City to arrange different hours for each commuter group in bid to curb congestion

Friday, December 30, 2016, 16:02 GMT+7

The Ho Chi Minh City administration has ordered the arrangement of exclusive scheduling for certain commuter groups, a plan previously rejected by local authorities to ease the city’s congestion.

The increase in personal vehicles and risk of traffic gridlock in the southern metropolis is leading many to call for effective measures to curb the aching problem, including one proposal to create specific time windows for different commuter groups, according to delegates at a meeting chaired by the municipal People’s Committee.

According to Colonel Tran Duc Tai, deputy director of the city’s Department of Police, about 1,000 new vehicles are registered in the city each day while the total number of vehicles hitting the streets daily is approximately 10 million.

According to a Department of Transport report, about 37 congestion hotspots exist across the southern hub and the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs should arrange different working hours for different groups of workers and students to alleviate these issues.

The proposition is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles travelling at any one time on the city’s street.

Accordingly, class times should start at 8:00 am while office workers will begin their day at 8:30 am; local supermarkets can then open at 9:00 am, the transport department listed the examples.

The plan will certainly be met with criticism, though it will have some benefits tolocal residents, Le Van Khoa, vice-chairman of the city’s administration said before adding that it still needed to be subjected to thorough discussion.

Khoa ordered the labor department to pilot the scheme with certain groups before expanding it to a larger scale.

Meanwhile, Cao Thanh Binh, deputy head of the Economics and Budget Committee under the municipal People’s Council, worried that the changes would impact the daily routine of citizens.

The plan was previously rejected by the council as there was not sufficient evaluation of its effect on society.

“In order to execute the scheme, careful assessment of its impact on society, local economy, and lives of citizens must be conducted,” the official stated.

Applicable on students

Thus far, the plan has been applied to the school hours of students in the city in order to curb traffic jams, an official from the municipal Department of Education and Training said at the gathering.

High school students are currently scheduled to start class at 7:00 am while elementary pupils begin half an hour later.

Local kindergartens are set to receive kids at between 7:30 and 8:00 am.

The department will continue to review solutions aimed at establishing different hours for schools busy streets, the education official said, proposing that more school buses be provided to limit personal vehicles at school entrances.

According to Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the transport department, the Traffic Safety Committee will work with the labor department to evaluate the proposition before reporting to the People’s Committee.

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