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Hanoi May Delay Motorbike Ban Until 2030: Official

Hanoi’s motorcyclists might be able to spend five more years on their vehicles, as municipal authorities just announced a plan to postpone their contentious motorbike ban until 2030.

Last June, transportation officials in the capital raised eyebrows when they unveiled a plan to prohibit motorbikes from entering inner-city areas in 2025. After that, Saigon authorities followed suit with a proposed private vehicle ban in July. Hanoians have recently experienced a taste of this ban since the city turned streets surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake into pedestrian-only areas in an effort to boost tourism.

According to Dan Tri, the possibility of a delay was confirmed by municipal Party Secretary Hoang Trung Hai on October 28.

“Hanoi may delay the motorbike ban in the downtown areas from 2030, instead of the year of 2025 as planned earlier so that the city will have more time for transport infrastructure development. We will submit the proposal to the city people’s council for approval,” Hai told the news outlet.

When the initial proposal came out, local experts opined that 2025 would be an unrealistic timeline for the ban, as there wouldn’t be enough time for Hanoi’s public transport projects to finish to shoulder the bulk of commuters who would be forced to switch from personal vehicles to mass transit options. Many think that a 50% reduction in the total number of bikes by 2025 will be more achievable.

These concerns are not baseless, as Hanoi currently has only 1,500 buses traveling on 96 routes, providing just 71% of the 12 inner-city districts with public transport options. Hai also acquiesced that bus usage is not optimal, as some routes are inconvenient for commuters while peripheral districts remain largely ignored by the system.

Capital officials are considering a plan to increase the number of routes to 150 and buses to 2,000 to serve more areas. The city is also currently waiting for the first segment of its metro system, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Line, to be completed. The Chinese-funded line has turned into a notoriously sluggish project whose completion date has been delayed numerous times.

If these depressing photos are any indication – once the bus system has been revamped, the ban goes into effect and the metro line is fully operational – Hanoi’s motorbikes might face the grim fate of being discarded en masse under bridges and overpasses.

[Photo via VnExpress]

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