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Car drivers decry new parking fees in Hanoi

Car drivers decry new parking fees in Hanoi

Wednesday, January 03, 2018, 16:20 GMT+7

The Hanoi administration has applied new parking fees to bicycles, motorbikes and automobiles in an effort to cap the use of personal vehicles from January 1, but many car drivers have complained that the new hour-based pricing is unreasonably inflated.

The new fees are applicable to licensed parking lots across the capital, with the charges for cars now calculated using a progressive pricing method, meaning the hourly rate rises as much as the parking time surges.

For instance, in Dong Da District, cars with nine seats and below, or trucks with a loading capacity of under two metric tons, are charged VND25,000 per hour for the first two hours, VND35,000 per hour for the third and fourth hours and VND45,000 per hour from the fifth hour onward. (VND22,500 = US$1)

A row of cars is seen parked along a street in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A row of cars is seen parked along a street in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

All of the licensed parking lots in Hanoi have publicly announced the new fees at their venues, but not all drivers are happy with the charges.

“With the new fees, I have to pay at least VND300,000 [$13.22] for parking every day, which is way too much,” Tran Trung Hieu, who works nine-to-fine at an office in Dong Da, lamented to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

After doing the math, Dao Quang Huy, a Hoan Kiem District resident, said he will have to set aside VND345,000 ($15.2) for parking on a daily basis.

A sign displaying new fees is seen at a licensed car parking area in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A sign displaying new fees is seen at a licensed car parking area in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“I am really concerned as I already have to cover high fuel and maintenance costs for my car,” he said.

In other districts, the average parking fee for cars is VND50,000 per unit per turn, compared to the old rate of VND30,000. However, on several streets in the downtown area, the monthly fee is as high as VND3-4 million ($130-175).

“We have put up a sign to announce the new fees at the entrance [to the parking lot] but some customers have still complained the charges are too high,” one attendant at a parking venue on Hai Ba Trung Street told Tuoi Tre.

Motorbike drivers have fewer reasons to whine as the new fees for motorcycles are only around VND5,000 to VND8,000 per hour per turn and are not calculated on an hour-based scheme. Yet, some parking lot operators have blatantly charged motorcyclists VND10,000 without any explanation, some overcharged commuters have complained.

A sign displaying new fees is seen at a motorbike parking lot in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A sign displaying new fees is seen at a motorbike parking lot in Hanoi on January 2, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Hanoi is in dire need of parking lots, as the available space for this purpose only meets 50 percent of demand, according to the municipal transport department.

The increased parking fees are therefore seen as a move by local administrators to discourage personal vehicles from entering the city center so as to reduce congestion.

In July 2017, the decision-making People’s Council of the Vietnamese capital passed a resolution to prohibit all motorcycles from getting into the inner city by 2030.

In order to execute the plan, authorities will start minimizing the use of two-wheeled vehicles, depending on the traffic infrastructure and capacity of each area, before enforcing a blanket ban.

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