HCM City bus stations start to get Tet crowds, Covid precautions in place
Two major bus stations in HCM City have started attracting crowds with less than two weeks to go for Tet.
|Mien Dong bus station in HCM City’s Binh Thanh District. VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai|
Both Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station in Binh Thanh District and Mien Tay (Western) Bus Station in Binh Tan District require passengers to follow COVID-19 preventive measures like wearing masks and keep a safe distance from others and check temperatures and tell passengers to declare their health status before entering.
Ta Chuong Chin, deputy general director of the former, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the station receive 23,000- 27,000 passengers every day.
The Western Bus Station expects numbers to peak between February 8 and 11.
Because of recent COVID-19 outbreaks in some places, many passengers have had to cancel tickets, especially to Hanoi and Da Nang.
Since January 28 the city has suspended bus services to the COVID-19 hit northern provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, and many people from these provinces working in the city have to stay back during Tet.
Speaking at a meeting of the city Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Tuesday, Tran Luu Quang, deputy secretary of the city Party Committee, said buses to Gia Lai should not be suspended though the Central Highlands province has diagnosed 17 people with COVID. There is high demand on the route, and a suspension could see people from HCM City go to Gia Lai through neighbouring provinces like Kon Tum and Dak Lak, increasing the risk of spread.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has ordered all airlines to ensure passengers could get refunds or change dates.
Nguyen Anh Luyen of the Sai Gon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company, told Lao Động (Labour) newspaper that passengers have two options: reserve the tickets to use any time this year, or return the ticket and get a refund of 70 per cent of the ticket price.
According to the Vietnam Railway Corporation, there will be 10 trains from HCM City to Hanoi over 25 days before and after the seven-day Tet holidays.
There will also be trains to Vinh, Dong Hoi, Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet from HCM City, and to Vinh, Dong Hoi and Da Nang from Hanoi.
In Binh Duong Province many people who have booked tickets are cancelling them. VNS
The HCM City Department of Transport has asked the municipal People's Committee to approve five new subsidized electric-bus routes that will be operated by Vingroup and run on a pilot basis for 24 months.
HCM City has completed a number of major transport projects this year, and plans to complete many others by 2025, that will help ease congestion at its gateways and improve connectivity with neighbouring provinces.