Volume 3 Issue 18 - September 15, 2005

Vietnam to introduce disabled-friendly mass public transport system

D.N.I.S. News Network – Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport is contemplating on a regulation for adopting a mass public transport system that is disabled-friendly. It is currently busy seeking opinions and inputs from disabled individuals and Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (D.P.Os).

Picture of inaccessible bus in Vietnam

A seminar jointly organised by the National Co-ordinating Council on Disability of Viet Nam (N.C.C.D.) and Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (V.N.A.H.) was held in Ha Noi to gather opinions from groups of Disabled people, social organisations, relevant ministries and sectors before drafting a regulation.

Nguyen Huu Tho, Director of the Department of Roads at the Ministry of Transport (M.o.T), who is leader of the team in charge of creating the new regulation, said the regulation would involve regulations for modifying buses and bus stops, and providing specialised routes for the disabled.

"There are 5.1 million persons with disabilities in the country and until now there hasn't been any official regulation on the public transport system that gives priority to them," he said.

Under the draft, wheelchair ramps will be built at bus stops. The creation of Braille signposts at bus stations and the installation of at least two specialised seats for the disabled on buses will also be encouraged. Buses will be adapted to provide access for disabled people and a handrail, pillar and signal bell will be installed. Two buses for the disabled will run every day in major cities.

The Deputy Minister of Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Dam Huu Dac affirmed that over the last ten years, the Party and the Government had paid much attention to improving facilities for persons with disabilities. “Laws and regulations catering for the disabled have been passed,” he said adding, “disabled people’s quality of life is improving.” However, he admitted that the implementation of policy to adapt the public transport system for the disabled in cities had taken a long time.

“Young architects must consider disabled access before designing public constructions such as bus stations," he said, "we expect the MoT to promulgate a rule on adapting buses for the disabled soon.”

The Director of N.C.C.D., Nghiem Xuan Tue, said the M.o.T should require corporations to make access and seats on buses and roads meet the needs of disabled people. Providing transport for persons with disabilities is among seven priorities identified by the Asia-Pacific region. They include establishing self-reliant groups of persons with disabilities, assisting Disabled women, educating children, creating employment, hunger and poverty elimination, providing high-tech tools specialized for the disabled, and adapting public transport for the disabled.

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