The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport and the city Union of Science and Technology Associations on April 20 held a conference on controlling the demand for personal motorbikes and attracted nearly 200 attendants.
Pham Xuan Mai from Ho Chi Minh City University of Science and Technology said the cause for congestion was motorbikes so it was necessary to remove this vehicle out of the traffic system as soon as possible.
According to Mai, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the cities with the largest number of motorbikes in the world with 1,000 people owning an average of 910 motorbikes.
The city needs 91.2 million square metres of roads but poor planning has only meant 26 million square metres of roadway has been constructed.
"This vehicle is causing inconvenient and badly affecting the community. That's why we need to limit the number of motorbikes in the transport system to less than 40% before removing this vehicle from the system," he said. "Motorbikes and motorbike industry are going backwards against a civilised urban area with sustainable transport systems."
Each year, about 700 to 800 people in Ho Chi Minh City died in traffic accidents and 71% of the accidents are caused by motorbike drivers.
Mai went on to say that the fuel consumption rate of motorbikes is higher than buses and other vehicles so motorbikes can cause more pollution.
Other experts agreed that the city authorities should implement multiple solutions at the same time to limit the number of personal vehicles in general within 10 to 15 years if the public bus system is set to be the main mode of transport.
However, Le Do Muoi, vice chairman of Transport Development and Strategy Institute, said there's a lack of harmony between construction planning and traffic planning.
Moreover, they will have to adjust the transportation network and find ways to combine public transport with other vehicles.
According to the Department of Transport, as of March, they have nearly 8 million vehicles include 637,000 cars and 7.3 million motorbikes, not to mention vehicles from other provinces.
People still prefer motorbikes and the infrastructure development is unable to catch up with such huge number, leading to congestion.
They are creating plans to develop the infrastructure and limit personal vehicles by 2020. In October, they will work with the Transport Development and Strategy Institute to build the plans.
Many experts agreed to propose to the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee plans to limit the number of motorbikes such as collecting fees when entering the city's centre, upgrade the infrastructure and improve and combine various types of public transports to meet at least 60% demands.
However, many people said the proposal to ban motorbike is impractical as motorbikes are the most suitable vehicles for the current infrastructure and lack of good public transport.