HCM City tries to unclog streets in run-up to Tet hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City has announced measures to ease traffic congestion, which has worsened recently, during the upcoming festival season.

Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the Department of Transport, told a meeting last week that the congestion will remain bad from now until the Lunar New Year.

But 40 key infrastructure works related to public transport, reduction of private vehicles and increase in the use of IT in transport management will be finished soon.

This will clear the roads where the work is going on and is expected to make traffic flows more efficient and smoother.

The department also called on the traffic police to regulate traffic during peak hours and increase fines for violators.

“Encroachment of pavements and roads by small businesses is one of the most important causes of gridlock,” Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy head of the city’s Traffic Safety Committee, said.

He said that in 2012 the chairpersons of all 24 districts signed a commitment to clear businesses on 159 streets, “but it has not been done so far.”

He said the city should hold the local authorities responsible.

Le Van Khoa, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, instructed the Traffic Safety Committee to monitor all 159 streets and said local authorities have to play a part in unclogging the city’s streets.       

The Chairman of the Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong instructed the Department of Information and Telecommunications to provide information about blocked roads at 37 hot spots to the public through mobile phone text messages and to related authorities, especially the traffic police and transport department so that they can send officers to the spot.

“Unlicensed buses and illegal bus stops must be eliminated. All traffic violations will be punished severely.”

Meanwhile, VietUnion announced recently it would sell train and bus ticket online through an application called Paytouch.

To use Paytouch, computers will first be installed in 20 Circle K and B’Smart convenience stores around the city before Lunar New Year at the end of January 2017.

People can buy tickets using electronic wallets, cards or cash.

The service will later be expanded to 300 Circle K and B’Smart stores as well as others like FPT shop, Vien Thong A, The gioi di dong (Mobile World), Vinmart, and Ministop.

This is expected to reduce the crowds at train and bus ticket counters before Tet./.