The proposal, submitted to the transport department on July 15, would have the city focus on developing public transport and gradually restricting private vehicles from downtown streets and areas prone to congestion by 2030.
Under the first phase from now until 2020, Ho Chi Minh City would increase parking fees, restrict parking for motorbikes and impose a toll on vehicles entering the city center.
The city would also develop its bus network and encourage the use of buses over private vehicles, while continuing to expand pedestrian zones.
After 2020, the city would develop a metro system and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, while limiting the number of newly-licensed private vehicles. The roadmap would also see the city restrict and eventually ban motorbikes from downtown streets and areas prone to congestion by 2030.
However, Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the Department of Transport affirmed the city would not ban motorbikes by 2030 and the proposed roadmap would only be used as a guideline.
“Only when it's proven that the city's public transport is capable of meeting people's travel demand will we consider banning motorbikes,” Cuong said.
But transport expert Luong Hoai Nam said the plan to develop the city's bus network, and hence the entire proposal, would fail unless the city goes through with the 2030 motorbike ban.
According to Nam, unless the city bans motorbikes, most people will not buy bus tickets, making the bus network unable to grow as it wouldn't be profitable enough to attract investors. Therefore the city's public network would never be able to meet travel demand.
Tran Anh Tuan, another expert, suggested adding a framework for assessing private vehicles' environmental impact.
Earlier this month, Hanoi approved a proposal to ban motorbikes from the city center from 2030 to reduce traffic congestion, despite strong opposition from experts and the public.
The capital city will also impose restrictions on cars, but not a blanket ban.