From my home in Beecroft go up the Broadway area of ​​Sydney, Australia, if you look on GPS like it will show up three suggested routes with three different distances and times. The route has the fastest time associated with the words "this route has tolls", meaning "this way must go through the toll booth".

Reasonably, if you want to shorten the travel time for nearly 20 minutes, you have to pay a little more, about 7.5 Australian dollars. Although the amount is just over half the price of popular Pho in Sydney, people here still think it is quite expensive, so only when they are really needed, they can use the toll road. If not, then take a leisurely drive on the free routes. That is not to mention the train system, public buses are always full of convenience, almost every corner is reached.

These days I think of the 34 toll booths that the Transport Department is proposing to set up around the gateways to Ho Chi Minh City with the goal of reducing congestion. It is a problem that no people do not want to improve.

If there were fewer vehicles to travel, Ho Chi Minh City would probably receive the benefits that include the reduction in the number of traffic accidents, the level of environmental pollution and noise, urban management and the quality of life of Residents promise to also improve significantly. The benefits are so obvious, why are there still so many mixed opinions?

Perhaps many people, especially the car drivers are doing business living in the largest economic center of the South still freaking out, because suddenly they were placed in a stance. I would like to add a perspective, first of all the practicality of the project. Remember a few decades ago, when Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew wanted to put a stop to street vendors in the Singapore island nation during the early days of founding the country, a lesson in practicality was drawn and recorded by him. back in my memoirs.

General idea, when he put the street vendors into "a cage" market but really decent, spacious but still failed, like "abducted forks". The reason is simple, because the sale on the roadside is free and the market is sold in the government cages. After that, he had to change tactics, free for all if he gave up the roadside to go to the market. As a result, everyone is happy to cooperate. And soon, they were happy to pay as the business got better. The actual needs and psychology of the people in this case have been heard.

Back to the project of placing 34 toll booths around Ho Chi Minh City, the need to move into the city center through many different gateways, by various means is justified and practical. The presence of toll booths certainly will not take away this essential need, but just coordinate the form of transportation, which is instead of using a car, use other means ( as some called).

"Other vehicles" with the majority of the Vietnamese population up to this point are almost nothing but motorcycles. If because of tolls, a percentage of people sitting in cars that change to motorbikes may exacerbate the traffic situation.

Toll stations are often located on newly built roads for the purpose of recovering initial investment costs. With roads that have been used for a long time, people actually pay the toll, investors have no reason to charge more if there is no public reason. And even if new roads are built along with the toll booths, the old roads are maintained so that people have a choice according to their budget.

Because if there's no choice, the service provider or, in this case, the contractors of the toll booths, even the government - the one who is supposed to provide public services to the people. - has automatically become the exclusive service provider, something that the Consumer Protection Law never allows. At that time, the station fee was no longer a "fee", but became a "tax", because it was a mandatory fee. People are considered as taxpayers.

For car users and driver drivers, they are also consumers, so in the project to set up toll booths around the city, who will protect their rights? Who will supervise and decide the fee so that it is fair and reasonable? And who will blow the whistle when these charging stations silently extend the bluffing toll day beyond the time allowed? It is a series of questions that people need to know before the government installs toll stations in the inner city of Ho Chi Minh City, which makes people think of the recent BOT problem.

Protecting consumers is a long story but after all, the most effective way to protect them is to give them a choice. This choice requires service providers to constantly improve and compete more in terms of quality and price. Without it, all road improvement solutions, if any, would later become vulnerable or hampered because of conflicts of interest with existing toll booths.

No one likes traffic jams but no one wants to be forced or helpless before feeling unhappy with the monopoly charging stations. They need to have the right to choose, need the second, third roads next to the toll road. The "roads" in the broad sense, besides the path, also include public transport, macro solutions.

In addition, I think that it is necessary to consider the feasibility and reality of the idea. Toll stations have never been a real solution to traffic congestion, which is a tool to recover investment costs for newly built roads. Here, the government wants to charge with the expectation that motorists will no longer ride. Toll stations will also not be strong enough to limit drivers to use cars in the current situation, unless the metro system or public bus system is relatively complete, civilized and convenient. Catholic. Otherwise, people still choose to use cars with a high fee but congestion is still congested. Suffering only for drivers must rely on the paths that live.

It is the other "road" options that are the solution, and are clearly missing in the project of the Department of Transport. That is the root of the problem.

Ly Qui Trung