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Saigon Bus Ridership Drops Dramatically

Saigon is short on public transportation offerings as it awaits the construction of its metro and BRT systems, but that's not stopping people from abandoning city busses at a rapid pace.

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In the first half of 2015, 152 million passengers rode the city’s public busses, 25 million fewer compared to the same time period last year, reports Vietnam News.

At a meeting regarding public transportation in the southern metropolis last week, Pham Dinh Duc, head of the Department of Transport’s Transport and Industry Management Division, identified poor service and quality as the main culprits.

In addition, construction along bus routes in downtown Saigon, thefts, sexual harassment and unfriendly staff have been blamed for the drop in ridership.

“A study of 7,000 passenger complaints about bus services done by the HCM City Institute for Development Studies found 8.5 per cent related to discrimination by staff, 31.7 per cent to failure to pick up and drop off passengers at designated bus stops, 19.4 per cent to the conduct of drivers and conductors, and the rest to other things like safety, routes and timing,” wrote the paper.

Lawmakers said the even though the city spends $US47 million per year on bus subsidies, the above issues have made busses an increasingly unpopular option.

It looks like free WIFI only goes so far.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]

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