Planning, management and reform of public transport was the main topic of a seminar held in the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City on June 10.

Co-hosted by the municipal Department of Transport and the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam , the seminar brought together a large number of experts working in transport and relevant fields both at home and abroad.

The participants looked into a wide range of issues, including the planning and management of urban traffic system and bus network as well as policy, investment and dissemination of information about public transport.

WB representative Samuel L. Zimmermanin said there are a lot of causes behind the problems facing traffic systems in big cities in Vietnam and other countries worldwide such as the weak planning, wasteful and ineffective use of land, population boom and rapid development of vehicles.

He also cited undeveloped public transports, poor conditions of roads and ineffective management of transport, especially loosen control over private operations in this field, as shortcomings facing the transport sector.

To tackle urban traffic issues, it requires the expertise of not only the transport industry but also from different areas and concerted efforts from concerned agencies.

Director of the HCM City Department of Transport Tran Quang Phuong said the sustainable development of urban traffic based on modern and effective means of public transport is one of the city’s most important tasks from now until 2020.

Public transport currently meets around 7.3 percent of the travelling needs of the city’s residents, while the number of personal vehicles is growing rapidly with 4.5 million units, including 4.1 million motorbikes, leading to urgent problems such as traffic jams, accidents and air pollution, Phuong noted./.