Information Technology in easing Ho Chi Minh City’s Congestion

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According to ASEAN’s statistics, there is a shortage of parking lot in Ho Chi Minh City. As the number of cars is increasing rapidly, the great congestion will appear in the near future. To avoid it, let have a look at the method of using BRT by Smart card to settle this problem.

Catastrophe 2018

same scale

HCMC and Osaka in same scale.  thanks to Google Map

I have never been to Ho Chi Minh City although it is the biggest city in Vietnam. Hence, I will make a comparison between Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka City, which have the same scale with other. Ho Chi Minh City’s population, including suburb, is approximately 6,24 millions in the area of 2,095 square kilometers when Osaka’s population is about 8,8 millions in the area of 1,901 square kilometers. The infrastructure and buildings are also familiar in both city.

an evening rush hour in HCMC

an evening rush hour in HCMC

The problem is no subway in Ho Chi Minh city. Let image what will happen if there is no subway in Osaka such as Keihan subway and Nankai subway. This problem make the city just like a tsunami of bike and bus as you can see in the picture. It cannot be denied that this is the most impressing image when foreign tourists visit Vietnam. The claim such as “because of the undeveloped transport infrastructure” is just a piece of problem. Moreover, foreign tourists also think that “too dangerous” or “too difficult” to transport in Ho Chi Minh city. However, as my experience, Vietnamese do not care much about this situation. In contrast, people also like using bike for their transportation even though I do not know their like this circumstance or not.

According to my research and investigation, the main reason for using bike is as following:

  1. The independent spirit of Vietnamese is suitable with bike. It just like American like using car and it is the symbol of doing everything independently.
  2. The infrastructure of the city is accommodated with bike. Ho Chi Minh city was built in the age of French colonial. There are many building still have deep influence of French architecture. With tourists, this city likes Paris in South-East Asia. It was designed before motorization with a few parking and not accommodate with car. The street in the city is not the same with the aisles in Japanese paddy field, which can be widened easily to adapt with new requirements.
  3. Bike is cheap, the price is about 30 million VND for brand new 150cc scooter. In comparison with the income, it is not really cheap but you can buy a second hand one with lower price. There is wide range of suppliers due to a great demand of the market.
  4. The hierarchy of transport has been setting up As you can see from the picture, I do not want to say “this is a chaos”, people move slowly at speed of 30km/h and rarely stop or surpass others, it just like an endless stream in the city. The danger is come from the walkers, the cars, the passer-by and careless drivers. However, these dangers are still not a big problem and from the point of view of the citizen, bike is still a safe transportation.
  5. People have used bike when they was a child. With the under 50cc bike, people do not need a driver license, even teenagers can use it. Therefore, people have used bike since they was young and bike become an essential part in their life.

From these 5 reason, it can be easily understood that why Vietnamese like bike. People and the infrastructure are also accommodated with bike. However, from the point of view of foreigners, it is the big trouble while the tax-free policy in Asia will active in 2018.

Tax rate for car is 60%, regulated by Vietnam Government. This rate is to limit the number of car imported in country by raising the price of cars. However, the economy is growing and people’s income is also increasing gradually. In 2018, Car’s tax will become 0% and the market share of car can be increased up to 37,5% which lead to the great congestion in the kingdom of bike like Ho Chi Minh city.

What will happen?

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