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Saigon Will Not Ban Motorbikes, Only Impose Restrictions: Official

Motorbike use will only be restricted, and only after proper public transportation infrastructure is set in place. 

On Wednesday, HCMC People's Committee Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen said at a meeting that the city will not completely ban motorbikes because "they're a means for people to commute to work." Many residents were concerned about a recent draft proposal that sought to limit the number of motorbikes in 2021–2025, then ban them completely in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 10 from 2025 onwards. The plan will also charge cars to enter the city center.

Tuyen did, however, added: "There is no country where traffic is smooth with lots of motorbikes." Therefore once the metro, bus system and water taxi options are improved, restrictions will be placed on all personal vehicles.

The city has long flirted with various plans to ban vehicles over the years including a decision last week to ban them on Nguyen Hue Street during certain days and hours. Pollution, safety and general ease of movement have all been cited as reasons. 

Critics, however, have long pushed back, calling the ban hasty. Some have argued that it is the influx of cars that are clogging the roads and leading to traffic jams. Moreover there is significant skepticism that public transit could successfully meet the demands of a motorbike-free community, especially given the frequent setbacks for projects like the metro

Tuyen explained: "We're striving to complete the first metro line by October 2020 to increase the rate of people using public transport to at least 15 percent from just 9.7 percent now."

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