More than 600ha needed to beat parking shortage

March 15, 2011 | 12:30
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Ho Chi Minh City needs nearly 650ha of land to meet its public trans-portation parking needs by 2015, but how and when it is going to create this space remains an open question, experts say.
illustration photo

The Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper reported yesterday that the actual parking space for public transportation in the city accounts for just 0.6 per cent of the area that a prime minister-approved plan targets creating by 2015.

Municipal authorities had started reviewing in 2009 land sources for building parking lots according to the plan, but it had an uphill task ahead that is complicated further by administrative hurdles, the report said.

Existing public transportation parking areas including bus stations and taxi stands cover 67.7ha, the majority of which is used to transfer passengers and goods, with just 7ha left for parking lots and bus stops.

The city's Department of Transport oversees only 7.5ha of the total parking area, mostly small bus stations, and the remaining space is managed by districts, schools and businesses.

The department says there is a serious parking shortage space for public transportation, like bus terminals and taxi stands.

Bus terminals had no space to accommodate the vehicles when they waited to start plying their routes, so they were parked on nearby streets instead, said head of the department's Road Transport Management Office, Le Trung Tin.

"There are 78 places like that on the roadside around the city where the buses wait for their turn to start," he said. This was inconvenient for both the company and passengers as also other vehicles using the streets, he added.

The buses even had to stay overnight on the streets and did not receive regular maintenance as a result, Tin said.

Last July, the department asked district authorities to review and assess the land area they could make available for public parking, but several are yet to undertake this exercise.

The land needed to meet the increasing demand of parking in Ho Chi Minh City has been estimated at more than 643ha by 2015, which is more than 56 per cent of the 1,140ha planned under the project to 2020.

This is an increase of 94 per cent over the existing parking area.

The department said the 643ha would provide space that would allow for technical maintenance of buses and facilitate the transportation of passengers and goods to inter-city bus stops and taxi stations.


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