As part of the government effort to improve the air pollution, authorities in Vietnam plans to ban motorbikes in Hanoi by 2030. Two years ago, Hanoi was the second-most polluted city in Southeast Asia with Saraburi, Thailand as the first on the list.
To compensate the increased number of motorbikes in Hanoi, the Hanoi People’s Council promised to add more public transportations in a hope to increase the users to 50% compared to the current 12%. The short and medium-term plans are to invest in the public transport development until the next 12 years and gradually acquaint the public with no-motorbikes areas until 2030.
A home to more than 7 million people, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, in 2017 Hanoi only experienced the total of 38 days with good air quality. During the drier months, from December until February, the air quality even got worse due to the dirty and ashy air from southern China that is located just across Vietnam. Together with the development of coal-fired power plants and its heavy industry, the motorcycles also the biggest contributor to the air pollution in Hanoi and other parts in Southeast Asia.
Although the plan to ban motorcycles sounds somewhat promising, not all residents believe the plan would work. Based on the interview held by the BBC, a resident conveyed that he did not fully trust the national efforts in improving the country, even the city in particular. He backed his argument by mentioning the current condition in Hanoi where the street is too crowded with very limited public transports. He argued that the absence of underground system in Vietnam would definitely not support the upcoming initiative, notwithstanding the fact that Hanoi had successfully realized a pilot project of the two-storey bus in some routes in June 2018.