Bus operators struggle with rising gas prices

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A bus station in Hà Nội. — Photo baogiaothong.vn

HÀ NỘI — Many bus operators have had to adjust their schedules due to increasing petrol prices and the number of passengers not improving.

At the two largest bus stations in Hà Nội, Giáp Bát and Mỹ Đình, the number of departures is only 30 per cent compared to before the pandemic.

The number of departures at Mỹ Đình bus station is 250-300 per day, when it was usually 800 before.

At Giáp Bát bus station, there are now about 400 departures per day, while was typically about 1,200.

Many operators are considering asking for an increase in fares to reduce losses.

“So far, only five units have announced an increase in freight rates at Mỹ Đình bus station by 10-20 per cent, while transport units at other stations have not yet made requests to increase rates, said Trần Hoàng, head of Planning Department of Hà Nội Transport Station Joint Stock Company.

No increase in rates does not mean that transport enterprises are not under pressure. With the current low number of passengers, it would still be difficult for businesses to continue to operate if ticket prices rise.

Transport activities at bus stations had stabilised and returned to 40-50 per cent compared to before the pandemic. But after the price of gasoline spiked, things tended to slow down and decline slightly, said Hoàng.

“Giáp Bát Bus Station has not received any notice of increasing ticket prices from any bus operator, possibly due to the complexities. Businesses have to go through the proposed procedure over 10 days to increase the price, but if the price is reduced, businesses have to wait a further 10 days to adjust,” said Nguyễn Tất Thành, director of Giáp Bát Bus Station.

The director added that the right to increase and decrease ticket prices was in the hands of transport enterprises, but such moves must follow a set procedure.

Trần Hoàng said that the company agreed with the opinion of the Hà Nội Department of Transport that ticket prices should be adjusted, but it must be reasonable and in the interests of both the transport company and passengers.

It is necessary to strictly follow the process and regulations of the State, notify the management agencies, tax authorities, the Department of Transport and the rate increase must be reasonable, he said. — VNS

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