Vietnam mulls electric tramcars for more tourism hotspots
The Vietnamese government has given the green light for local authorities in six more locations to launch electric tramcar services. The six places are Hue, Danang, Haiphong, Vung Tau, Lao Cai and Khanh Hoa.
Media reporters in Vietnam say prime-minister Nguyen Tan Dung has endorsed the launch of pilot schemes in the six localities to assess the long-term feasibility of the environmentally friendly taxis. Authorities will have six months to report back on whether the new vehicles adequately serve the needs of residents and tourists.
The government has already allowed the launch of electric tramcars in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Quang Binh and Nghe An. In Hanoi, tourist trams operate on routes through the old quarter on a circuit from Dinh Tien Hoang Road. The Ministry of Transport says there are currently more than 1,000 tramcars on the streets of Vietnamese cities.
Vietnamese tramcars resemble golf buggies with open sides and seating for up to 10 people. Proponents claim they create less air and noise pollution than petrol or diesel powered vehicles.
Bangkok’s governor says the city’s sole Bus Rapid Transit line is not heading for the scrap heap after all. Aswin Kwanmuang told media reporters the service will not be axed as planned next month and instead fares will go up to cover a shortfall in income.
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City say they are adding the finishing touches to a plan to turn the downtown precinct into a pedestrian one. Tran Quang Lam is the assistant-director of the city’s Transport Department and he says the 2.2km² zone would become a no-go area for all forms of motorised transport.
Architects and academics have united in a bid to persuade Thailand’s railway operator to save the nation’s heritage stations from the wrecking ball. King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Parinya Chukaew and leading architect Pongkwan Lassus say the country’s elderly rail stations have high cultural value.