Hanoi to Ban Motorbikes in 2025

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People ride motorbikes on Hanoi's Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
People ride motorbikes on Hanoi's Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

In a controversial decision designed to reduce emissions and road congestion, the Hanoi People’s Committee plans to ban motorcycles, scooters, and motorbikes in its core districts in 2025.

The plan was announced in 2019 and was originally set to be put in place by 2030, but has been pushed to an earlier start date.

Vietnam Express reports that transportation experts believe the plan will only be plausible if Hanoi can expand its public transportation infrastructure in order to accommodate those forced to commute without their motorbikes.

Hanoi is home to eight million people and about six and a half million vehicles, more than five and a half million of which are motorbikes.

Public transportation infrastructure has been increasing in Hanoi in recent years, with projects that include the new Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro service and future plans for a Nhon-Hanoi Railway station route.

A swarm of motorbikes stopped at a traffic light in Hanoi.
A swarm of motorbikes stopped at a traffic light in Hanoi.

However, traffic planner Phan Le Binh argues that these metro lines are not enough to take the place of motorbikes, and efforts to improve infrastructure need to be ramped up in coming years.

Phan Le Binh warns that if motorcyclists don’t have their transportation needs met by public infrastructure like trains then they are much more likely to turn to cars when the motorbike ban is in place, and cars are even worse than motorbikes in both emissions and traffic disruption.