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Hanoi promises free Wi-Fi on all buses to pull in passengers

Hanoi promises free Wi-Fi on all buses to pull in passengers

Free internet connection will soon be available on every bus in Hanoi as the city is trying to make public transport more appealing in an attempt to curb traffic congestion.

Hanoi Transport & Services Corporation (Transerco), the state-run bus operator of the capital city, has completed installing devices to provide free Wi-Fi on the first 200 buses. Internet will cover the whole bus network by the second quarter next year.

According to Transerco’s report, in the first 10 months, the number of bus riders in the city reached 270 million, down 10 percent from the same period last year. It is expected to hit 328 million for the whole year.

To attract more passengers, Transerco is planning to upgrade over 300 bus stops with shelters in 2017 and build 525 new ones in 2018.

“We are trying to make sure that residents don't have to walk more than 300-500 meters to catch a bus," said Ha Huy Quang, deputy director of Hanoi Transport Department. He said 60 new routes will be added by 2020.

Hanoi has some 1,000 buses that transport about 500 million passengers each year, equivalent to 15 percent of the total travel demand. The number of passengers has dwindled down over the past few years due to a rise in personal vehicles.

The city is also building a metro rail system which it hopes can help reduce the number of motorbikes and cars on the streets.