Vientiane is tackling the issue of its over crowded and congested streets by focusing on improving non-motorised transport and public transport in the city.
While speaking to the Intergovernmental Tenth Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia at a meeting on Tuesday, Vientiane Vice Mayor Mr Keophilavanh Aphaylath explained that the project will encourage people within the city to use more sustainable modes of transportation.
The Vice Mayor acknowledged that the rapidly growing number of motorised vehicles has brought new challenges to the city and that the influx of cars and motorbikes has caused congestion, air pollution, accidents and rampant parking intrusions.
The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong has stated that the city has completed a number of significant studies, particularly the Vientiane Urban Transport Master Plan in 2008, the Study on Low Carbon Transport System in Laos in 2012, Ongoing Green Freight Transport and many others.
During the ASEAN Summits, hosted by Laos as the Chair of ASEAN last year, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith delivered the Laos Paris Agreement ratification instrument to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was implemented with the assistance of a new project funded by the Global Environment Facility in partnership with UNDP and the Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change.
“Besides these studies, we have been implementing many EST projects, such as a new system to improve bus services and piloting electric buses in the capitals of Luang Prabang and Champassak provinces,” Dr Bounchanh explained.
It was added, that almost US$100 million was secured, co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development, European Investment Bank, European Union, Global Environmental Facility, the private sector and the Lao government to implement the alleged Vientiane Sustainable Urban Transport Project.
The project will drastically improve urban transport operations and capacity in Vientiane through five major components: bus rapid transport, parking facilities, non-motorised transit, traffic management, and urban transit management agency.
The forum is expected to provide valuable opportunities, insight and technological knowledge towards the effectiveness and sustainability from other cities on urban transport.