Hanoi ’s Department of Transport is planning to increase the number of flexible bus routes, which skip bus stops and bypass traffic jams by taking alternative routes, according to deputy director of the department Nguyen Hoang Linh.

He said, the model was put into operation earlier this year on six routes, including Long Bien-Bac Ninh, Giap Bat-My Dinh, Long Bien-Dong My, Giap Bat-Dong Ngac, Giap Bat-Nhon and Bac Co-Yen Nghia, to deal with overcrowed bus stops and to shorten journey times.

These routes were serviced from Monday to Friday during peak hours and drives were give permission to skip bus stops and actively search for alternative ways to avoid traffic congestion. After a four-month trial, it was found to be both effective and economical, in spite of a number of problems caused by poor infrastructure, Linh said.

The department recently surveyed 1,537 passengers and more than 94 percent of them agreed to use this form of public transport rather than their own vehicles, an increase of nearly 4 percent compared to a survey conducted in March. On top of this, more than 93 percent of passengers thought the model was convenient, an increase of nearly 7 percent.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, director of the Urban Traffic Management Centre, said the department planned to open seven more routes in suburban areas, including Giap Bat-Thuong Tin, Cau Giay-Phung Bus Station, Nam Thang Long-Nui Doi, Giap Bat-Yen Nghia, Van Dien-Nghia Do, My Dinh-Co Loa and Yen Phu-Highway No2-Thanh Tuoc.

Those routes would go into operation in July and could reduce journey times by up to 45 minutes on each route, he said./.