Latest NewsTransportation - Vehicles

Vientiane Moves Closer to Efficient Bus Service

Source: Vientiane Times

Construction of bus lanes and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations under the Vientiane Sustainable Urban Transport Project have begun in Vientiane with the work expected to be complete by the end of December.

The Vientiane Department of Public Works and Transport has entered into several contracts covering various aspects of the project.

The first of these will see the construction of a BRT station and express bus lane from Fa Ngum Park to the Patuxay monument along Souphanouvong, Setthathirath and Nongbone roads.

The second contract involves the construction of a BRT station and express bus lane from the Patuxay monument to the National University of Laos along Kaysone Phomvihane and Saphangmeuk roads.

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In addition, a bus shelter will be built on the way to Wattay International Airport with buses set to run from Fa Ngum to Tatthong and Nongtaeng villages along Road No. 13 North. In the north-east of Vientiane, a bus shelter will be built on the 450 Year Road to accommodate passengers wishing to travel to Thangon village in Xaythany district.

A bus depot, repair centre and BRT command centre will also be built, while fibre optic cable will be laid from the 450 Year Road to Km16 in Phonkham village, Xaythany district, along Road No. 13 South.

Other works include the construction of alleys and landscaping on Chao Anou, Haengboun and Khounboulom roads.

To better regulate traffic flow, 41 traffic lights will be installed in Sikhottabong, Sisattanak, Chanthabouly, Xaysettha and Xaythany districts.

The Vientiane Urban Sustainable Transport Project was authorised in 2016 at a cost of US$99.7 million, with financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Investment Bank (EIB), OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund), European Union-Asia Investment Facility (EU-AIF), Global Environmental Facility (GEF), High-Level Technology Fund, the Lao government, and the private sector.

An additional four contracts have been signed, including a contract worth US$14.8 million, financed by the EIB, for the supply of 55 electric buses; a contract financed by the GEF for the supply of 150 electric pedicabs worth US$456,000; a contract worth US$3.5 million financed by the ADB and the GEF for the construction of pedestrianised zones around the BRT bus stations; and a contract worth US$5.5 million for the installation of an intelligent transport system to regulate bus traffic, financed by the ADB.

Other companies are now being selected to carry out the remaining seven contracts for the construction of bus lanes and stations, traffic signalling, automatic fare collection, and three management contracts.

The Bus Rapid Transit system is expected to ease traffic congestion, reduce the number of road accidents, improve air quality, and cut costs for passengers.