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Hanoi Officials Consider Imposing Tolls to Limit Entry to Downtown Areas

Due to severe traffic, Hanoi is considering setting up automatic toll gates for downtown areas in order to reduce congestion.

According to VnExpress, before installing tolls to restrict vehicles, city officials must first determine which streets and areas are most likely to be congested.

The first area identified is Ring Road 3, located in the southwest of Hanoi, which is among the streets where restricted access would be imposed. The plan is expected to be passed in the third quarter of this year.

A representative of the Ministry of Transport told the news source that the exact fees for the tolls are not yet settled. The plan suggests that drivers will not need to stop to pay fees, as they will be collected electronically by automatic toll booths.

Hanoi is notorious for its traffic congestion during rush hour. This is the result of a population of nearly 7.8 million people with seven million vehicles and over two million more coming from other areas.

A plan put forth in 2017 to ban motorbikes and restrict private vehicles from downtown districts by 2030 was revived by the municipal government in March. The proposal also aims is also to encourage the use of public transport in the city center.

Experts, as well as the public, however, are not satisfied with the idea. According to the news source, they argue that public transport does not meet current demand, whereas cars should be restrained instead of motorbikes, as they take up more space.

Meanwhile, officials in Saigon, where traffic jams are also an unresolved issue, have suggested spending roughly VND250 billion (US$10.7 million) on 34 toll gates for cars and private vehicles entering the city center.

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