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On Its Maiden Voyage, Hanoi’s Bus Rapid Transit System Isn’t So Rapid

Due to a lack of physical lane dividers, Hanoi’s first rapid transit buses inched through traffic during their first trial run last Thursday morning.

According to VnExpress, lanes for the new bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which runs from downtown Hanoi to the bustling Giang Vo and Lang Cha Streets, are delineated by solid white lines on the road, meant to set BRT routes apart from regular traffic lanes.

However, during the buses’ maiden voyage, motorbikes filled the BRT lane, ignoring the white lines and blocking the bus path. As a result, BRT vehicles took 56 minutes to complete their first trial run as opposed to the anticipated 45 minutes.

“The buses weren't as rapid as expected,” Director Vu Ha of the Hanoi Urban Transport Development Project Management Unit told VnExpress.

Hanoi’s US$55 million BRT project began three years ago. Though the World Bank-funded project missed its initial deadline in 2015, the BRT system is now up and running – albeit slower than expected – as transport officials work out the kinks. In its first month of operation, from January 1, the capital is inviting passengers to ride for free.

[Photo via VnExpress]

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