Information Technology in easing Ho Chi Minh City’s Congestion

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The no-parking place city.

The forecast of lacking of parking area in 2018 is not based on the quantity of car. In case of increasing sales of car, the quantity cannot be tenfold. The main cause is parking area, it cannot be seen in anywhere in this city.

The design of the city is basically from the era of French Colonial.

Dist.1 near the central post office.

Dist.1 near the central post office.

As you can see, in the picture, there is the center of District 1. The specific feature of Ho Chi Minh city is the antique buildings and the rows of trees. You can say this is Paris of Indochina.

There are many cafeterias in this city. Taking a cup of Vietnamese coffee and looking at a crowded street is the hobby of many foreign tourists. In fact, if you live and work in the center of Ho Chi Minh city, you will get many troubles in parking your car. (The lotus-shaped building in the left corner is Bitexco building which is the highest building in HCMC).

Dist.11 downtown of HCMC

Dist.11 downtown of HCMC

Leaving from the center of city is also difficult. In the picture, this is the view from the center of city to the west 6km, including 11 District. It looks like Itabashi District in Tokyo, there is no special feature, just very normal corner of the city. There are many houses, building and residents but you cannot see any car parking. Even though you want to set up a new car parking, there is no space to do it. In Japan, it is very easy to exchange from Japanese wooden house into car parking in many issues such as infrastructure or land ownership. However, due to the complicated circumstance, it will take a long time and much money to settle these issues in HCMC.

In addition, the increase of car parking cannot meet the social demand. As the result, many cars are parked in street and narrowing it, which lead to heavy traffic jam.

The solution for “The Pearl of Indochina”

There are some solutions for this problem

Setting up subway or highway

I think that this is the major solution. However, it will take us a long time. The city have a plan to build 6 highway streets, one of them is in construction by using ODA investment. the anticipation is that people can use this one in 2018 but it is still too late. And when other 5 street will be built is still a question.

Improving performance of public transportation

The public transportation is bus only but it is not used efficiently. Bus also often come late although there are many buses in HCMC.

Building new urbans

Another solution for congestion is building new urbans. The city center is now an old town and does not accommodate with car. The fact that there is a new urban named Phu My Hung in District 7, where was the wetlands. Building such new urban can be a feasible solution.

This kind of urban is not “The Pearl of Indochina” nor “Paris in Asia”. It can be seen everywhere all over the world, especially in China. I think it will be better to live in such urban than live in old town despite the tasteless of tourists.

However, we cannot anticipate that it is good or not. Beside, this solution can take up to 10 years before people can live in it.

Limiting the quantity of cars in the city

This policy has been applied in Singapore. In odd days, only cars which have odd license number can enter the city. However, this policy is only effective in city and less fluent in suburb.

Making car parking arrangement policy

The main idea is enhancing the fluency of tax and land ownership policies. But it is still a question whether it is easy or not. If Vietnam learns the Japan’s road transport infrastructure development policy, it will take 30-50 years to achieve it. Chinese government had used these strong policies to achieve it but I think Vietnam government will not follow it.

Setting non-tariff barriers

If car taxes become zero, we should think about another way to make the cost for owning a car increase to restrain imported cars. For example, It can be increasing registration fee, insurance or parking fees and tuition for learning driving car.

However, in the relationship with other countries, it will be bad manner.

If we think in that way, we can easily understand why there is no effective solution for congestion in HCMC. Building subway or new urban take a lot of time while other solutions bring less efficiency.

What should we do to settle congestion problem as well as air pollution?

Let us see how IT can solve this problem.

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