Transport operators resist City plan for new buses

Published: 24/03/2011 05:00



HCM City bus companies are not keen on
buying the 1,680 new buses envisaged in a Department of Transport plan over the
next five years since they feel the loan-interest subsidy they are getting is
not adequate.

People taking a bus in HCM City’s
District 1. Bus companies are concerned about the local transport department’s
plan for 1,680 new buses in the next five years. (Photo: VNS)

current interest rate they have to pay banks is a very high 18-20 per cent while
the City only offers a subsidy of 6.48 per cent for the fleet augmentation,
according to the department.

Dang Hai, head of the Transport Co-operative, said a new vehicle cost VND1.8
–2.6 billion (US$86,100-124,400).

many operators were still repaying debts from 2003 when they bought 1,318 buses
under a similar programme, he said.

At that
time the interest rate had been only 3 per cent, he said, with any subsequent
increase in the rate to be borne by the City.

dismissed the current plan as impractical.

Transport operators have to pay 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the cost of a bus
in advance, or up to VND780 million.

Anh Leo, head of the city Transport Co Ltd, said his company had yet to repay
the debt incurred under the 2003 plan, and couldn’t afford to pay the advance
even if it sold old buses.

Tong Thi
Thu Thanh, deputy chairwoman of Quyet Thang Transport Co-operative, said her
company’s buses did not have to be replaced for nearly 10 more years and so
buying them was wasteful.

the law, buses only have to be taken off the road after 20 years.

urged the Department to either delay the project by a year or two so that they
could repay their old debts or increase the subsidy.

Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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