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High Hopes and Stiff Resistance for Hanoi's New Bus Rapid Transit
In the fast-growing city of Hanoi, more people has meant more traffic and more pollution. "Hanoi’s PM2.5 levels typically range from 100 to 200 micrograms per cubic metre – regularly within the globally acknowledged 'unhealthy' category. But on 19 December last year, they hit “hazardous levels" at 343μg/m3, which was higher than Beijing," reports Zung Nguyen in The Guardian.
The city has looked to address those challenges, in part, by launching a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on the last day of 2016. With dedicated bus lanes not open to cars or the city's plentiful motorcycle commuters, "[m]any are angry that the BRT’s exclusive lane takes up almost half of some roads, exacerbating congestion for other motorbikes and cars," Nguyen writes. The success or failure of the system will depend on how widely adopted it is and, while the early numbers of riders are growing, some worry that they won't grow fast enough to make a dent in either the traffic or the pollution problem.