Hanoi launches $300,000 contest in search of breakthrough traffic solutions

With whopping prizes on the line, consulting firms are encouraged to propose feasible solutions to Hanoi’s burgeoning traffic problem

A traffic police officer in yellow reflective uniform stands between darting vehicles at the Tay Son – Nguyen Luong Bang intersection in Hanoi, January 12, 2017.

An attractive grand prize of US$200,000 in cash is on the line for consulting companies if they can develop a viable solution to the capital’s chronic traffic congestion.

The contest, a scheme to seek out “ideas to organize traffic and solutions to combat congestion in Hanoi from now to 2025, with a vision to 2030,” was kick-started by the city’s administration and transport department on Thursday.

Besides the grand prize, the contest also offers a second prize of $100,000, and $25,000 in credit support for any entry with a complete and qualified proposal.

Interested companies are advised to sign up for the contest between January 19 and 23, according to the organizers.

“The short deadline is deliberately set, so organizations with extensive study and thorough knowledge about Hanoi traffic, and are truly serious in resolving the problem, can register immediately,” Vu Van Vien, director of the transport department, explained.

The contest is only open to domestic and international consulting companies.  Entries are required to be submitted no later than April 27.

Qualified companies will defend their proposals between April 27 and May 10, and the winners are expected to be named somewhere between May 10 and 25.

A traffic jam in Hanoi on January 12, 2017.
A traffic jam in Hanoi on January 12, 2017.

Vien, the transport department head, said the contest is necessary, considering traffic in Hanoi remains a constant struggle despite numerous attempted solutions.

“We are in need of a proper traffic management solution that goes in line with the master plan for the city’s traffic needs from now until 2030, as approved by the prime minister,” Vien said.

He added that preparing a traffic management solution is not a task an individual can do on their own, so the contest only calls from entries from experienced consulting companies.

“We offer such considerable prizes in the hope of soliciting valuable ideas from strong and capable consulting companies, as this is not the time to collect single, small ideas,” he concluded.

Hanoi is indeed in dire need of a viable solution, as the city witnessed yet another heavy traffic clogging right in the afternoon of the contest’s announcing day.

Nguyen Luong Bang, Tay Son, Nguyen Trai, Truong Chinh, and Xa Dan were hit heaviest with congestion, with cars and motorbikes along each street inching by at a snail’s pace from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.

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