HCMC – The HCMC Department of Transport has sent a document to the municipal government asking for an additional VND128 billion in subsidies for bus operators who have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the department, VND22.5 billion will be used to help bus cooperatives and operators cope with the hardships linked to the pandemic, VND54.4 billion will be for increasing salaries and VND51 billion as a reserve for urgent issues.
If the proposal is approved, the city’s subsidies for bus operators in 2020 would amount to VND1.278 trillion.
In early August 2020, the HCMC authority offered an additional VND141 billion in subsidies for operators of buses in 2019. However, this amount was insufficient and many bus operators still did not have enough money to pay employee salaries and fuel costs.
Data from the Transport Department indicated that the number of public bus commuters has taken a nosedive, dropping from 305 million in 2012 to 159 million last year.
The passenger volume continued its downward trend in the first half of this year as it reached a mere 39.6 million arrivals, meeting 62% of the target. As a result, the number of bus routes was reduced from 150 to 128, including 91 subsidized routes and 37 non-subsidized ones.
Meanwhile, bus subsidies have been increased in recent years, from VND1.123 trillion in 2018 to VND1.247 trillion in 2019.
By Le Anh