Ho Chi Minh City cracks down on illegally parked cabs, buses in ‘backpacker area’
A vehicle of the Phuong Trang passenger bus line is seen picking up travelers in front of the company’s office on Le Hong Phong Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
The municipal Department of Transport has installed traffic signs prohibiting passenger buses from stopping along Pham Ngu Lao Street to wait for travelers to enter and exit.
Between 6:00 am and midnight every day, drivers of cabs and passenger buses of less than 26 seats can only park their vehicles in specific spots, which are marked with white paint, and must not wait longer than five minutes for their passengers.
Other coaches of 26 seats and over must pick up and drop off their travelers at a bus station in the nearby 23/9 Park.
The new regulations are specifically aimed at reducing the risks of traffic accidents as well as congestion in the ‘backpacker area,’ home to a vibrant expat community in the downtown.
Several transport companies in the southern city have taken advantage of their business license to randomly gather passengers along the street, creating multiple improvised and unlawful bus stops in the downtown area, according to the Department of Transport.
Local authorities have been working hard to deter such activity on De Tham, Nguyen Thai Binh and Le Thi Hong Gam Streets in District 1.
Officers in the city have carried out inspections and imposed penalties on 17 violators of the new regulations, handing out fines worth nearly VND45 million (US$2,018) and suspending six driver’s licenses.
Traffic in the ‘backpacker area’ has become more stable, said Nguyen Van Thanh, an official from the Department of Transport.
Traffic police have also been patrolling for similar violations on several other city routes, Dam Thanh Pha, an inspector from the department, stated, adding that about 104 cases have been dealt with on Le Hong Phong Street in District 5 alone.
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