CDIA Sets in Motion the Can Tho Bus Priority Project Preparation Study

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CDIA on 16-17 November 2022 organized a kickoff meeting and field visits to officially start the Bus Priority Project Preparation Study (PPS) in Can Tho City, Viet Nam. Through the PPS, CDIA will provide technical assistance to improve the city’s bus network and transport infrastructure to encourage a shift to a greener, climate-friendly, and more sustainable urban mobility.

“Improving the bus service and developing high quality bus infrastructure through guidelines that meet international standards are needed in Can Tho City,” said Nguyen Vu Bang who presided over the meeting and serves as the Vice Chairman of the Department of Transportation of the Can Tho City People’s Committee.

Can Tho has a population of 1.2 million. It is considered the largest city and the center of commerce and investment in the Mekong Delta region of Viet Nam. Motorcycle is the dominant form of transportation in the city, estimated at 86% of the modal share. Meanwhile, its public transport is characterized by underdeveloped bus network and infrastructure, very low ridership at less than 1% of the modal share, and a lack of government supervision.

Committed to regulating the use of personal vehicles and strengthening its public transport system, the Can Tho City People’s Committee requested technical assistance from CDIA to develop investment projects for upgrading their bus system.

Using SMMR’s Regional Bus Network Review as a starting point, CDIA will develop preliminary development concepts for three identified bus corridors. By undertaking a multi-criteria analysis, a priority corridor out of the three options will be selected for further study.

The PPS will then develop preliminary designs for the priority investment components covering bus stations, intermodal links, and junction designs, among others. CDIA will also conduct financial, economic, environmental, social, and gender due diligence to determine the viability of the proposed investments. Climate-proofing measures for the investments will be covered as well. The study will further recommend a Quality Bus Partnership scheme that can make the bus system more attractive to the public.

The kickoff meeting served as an opportunity to meet the project stakeholders; introduce the CDIA technical team; and explain the PPS scope, methodology, timeline, and intended outcomes. The discussions further helped understand the strategic transport priorities of the city government.

Meanwhile, the site visits enabled the CDIA team to better understand the transport situation in the city through a reconnaissance survey of the various proposed corridors and the central bus station.

Following the kickoff, CDIA team is set to accomplish six major tasks over the next 10 months:

  • Develop corridor selection framework and data collection methodology
  • Review overarching design guidelines and institutional framework
  • Formulate concept corridor plans
  • Assess and select bus priority corridor
  • Develop preliminary design of selected bus corridor
  • Prepare project implementation plan

The PPS will also help address key capacity gaps in the public transport system, such as the lack of guidelines and principles on bus planning and design; lack of data on traffic, travel behavior, and public transport demand; and complicated institutional arrangements for planning and implementation.

Since the project scope and the expected outcome of the study will rely mainly on the quality of data collected, CDIA emphasized the importance of support from city officials and their involvement in the conduct of surveys and other modes of information-gathering, as well as in coordinating with target stakeholders.

“We will ensure that the projects we will recommend based on the PPS are fully aligned with the priority framework of the city,” said Ronald Cartagena, CDIA’s project manager for the Can Tho project. “We aim to provide complementarity to the programs and projects that are already in place.”

Photos during the kickoff meeting and site visit:

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