Coaches illegally stop for receiving customers in a road in HCM City (Source: baogiaothong.vn)

HCM City (VNA)
– Better service quality, more transit bus stations, a new legal framework, and enforcement of fines are expected to shut down illegal bus stations and unlicensed transport firms in HCM City.

“Illegal stations and unlicensed transport firms have created an unhealthy business, environment, causing customers to suffer,” Tran Bao Ngoc, Head of the Ministry of Transport’s Transport Department, was quoted as saying in Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper.

Speaking at a recent seminar about the situation, Ngoc pointed out that illegal stations and unlicensed transport contributed to social disorder, loss to the State budget and traffic congestion.

The city had reduced the number of illegal stations from 150 to 36, the transport department said.

However, the problem had become more serious as unlicensed buses were posing as travel representative offices and ticket agents. Others pretended they signed tourism contracts to avoid going directly to legal bus stations.

“Unlicensed buses now have their own booking switchboards and websites to sell tickets in advance. They don’t go to official stations, don’t pay fees, don’t pay taxes and create unfair competition with those who follow state law,” said Van Cong Diem, Deputy General Director of Phuong Trang Transport and Tourism JSC company.

“Unlicensed buses often run very fast with too many customers and cause serious accidents,” said Nguyen Ho Huu Tung, representative of a transport company.

Transport companies have asked local authorities to set up a task force to check and fine all unlicensed transport companies with illegal stations.

The Transport Department was asked to review all route management data from GPS devices, which are installed in all buses.

The Ministry of Transport should review and fix all needed legal framework to stop unlicensed transport.

“The city should arrange and build more transit stations for passenger convenience,” Nguyen Van My, Director of Lua Viet Tourism company, said.

“Service quality and fees at official stations should be adjusted to attract more buses,” he added.

“Promoting IT management for transport, increasing fines and taking back driving licences and fixed-route badges for those who violate laws should all be done,” Thuong Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Mien Dong Bus Station, said.

“HCM City has bus stations in four directions, so the city needs a comprehensive plan to properly connect routes and create convenience for passengers,” Le Dinh Tho, Deputy Minister of the Transport Ministry, said.

“For big transport enterprises, local authorities can grant licences to set up temporary stations,” he added.-VNA