HCM City to suspend 54 bus routes due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1HCM City to suspend 54 bus routes and cut 60 percent of trips on fixed routes (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Transport Department of Ho Chi Minh City on March 27 proposed suspending 54 bus routes and cut 60 percent of trips on fixed routes from March 28 to April 5 to curb the spread of the COVD-19 pandemic.

Among the 54 routes to be suspended, there are 27 routes without subsidies connecting to the provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An, Tien Giang, Tay Ninh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, nine inner-city routes without subsidies, and 18 routes with subsidized prices but with low travel demand of below 1,200 passengers a day and going through schools and entertainment areas.

The city will only maintain the operation of routes with subsidized prices and having high travel demand and no alternative means of transportation.

To support transportation firms which have to temporarily stop part of their routes or cut down trips, the Transport Department will have working sessions with them, and consult the municipal People’s Committee to provide financial support for over 5,000 labourers who are forced to be unemployed temporarily due to the pandemic.

From March 25, the department asked transportation firms to request their vehicles to transport less than 50 percent of their capacity and no more than 20 passengers at a time.

Passengers on contract, tourism and transit routes are required to wear face masks and make compulsory medical declarations.

The Department also suggested the People’s Committee to ask for the Transport Ministry’s consideration of minimizing the number of domestic flights to/from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport; and direct the Vietnam Railway Corporation to request the Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company to closely coordinate with the municipal Department of Transport and related units to strictly control passengers at the Saigon Station.

On March 26, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport served 12,671 passengers aboard 115 domestic flights and 1,306 passengers on board 47 international flights, equivalent to 20 percent of those on normal days. Meanwhile, the Saigon Railway Station serves 869 passengers aboard 10 trains, down 8 trains. The Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company plans to reduce the number of train trips to six a day./.