August 20, 1999 |
Dang Van Day, like thousands of other "cyclo" drivers, is on the streets by 6 a.m., cruising for passengers or cargo to fill his pedal-powered taxi and hoping that by day's end he'll have pocketed a dollar or two. The cyclo--a small two-wheeled carriage pushed by a bicycle--is one of the enduring symbols of Vietnam's cities, a descendant of the trishaws that flourished during the French colonial era. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have as many as 40,000 cyclos, officials estimate.
June 6, 1998 |
Southeast Asia is turning its back on the trusty vehicle that moved the region into modern times--the bicycle. Bikes have all but vanished from the car-clogged streets of Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta, and they are disappearing fast from other capitals as well. The only real urban refuge left for bike commuters in Southeast Asia is Vietnam, where the nation's 30 million bicycles outnumber motor scooters 6 to 1 and cars 60 to 1.
May 1, 1998 |
The grim statistics are in: 1997 was the bloodiest year on Vietnam's roads, with accidents claiming 6,000 lives, a 22% jump over the previous year. That may not seem alarming compared with the United States, where more than 40,000 people a year die in traffic accidents. But the United States has more than 200 million registered vehicles and about 4 million miles of roads; Vietnam has 417,000 vehicles and 39,000 miles of roads.
October 10, 1997 |
With conductors waving old-fashioned kerosene lanterns, the "reunification express" passenger train rumbles out of this capital each night promptly at 8, bound for Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, 34 hours and 1,078 miles away.
November 9, 1995
Vietnam Plans to Build Elevated Train System: The Southeast Asian country's Transportation Ministry plans to start building a $839-million network of elevated trains in Hanoi to help ease the capital's suffocating traffic problems, a ministry official said. The first section of track will cost about $464 million, with much of the money expected to come as aid from Germany.
February 20, 1995 |
Bidding on Road Project Opens: Construction companies from 14 countries have started bidding on projects worth $317 million to resurface and widen Vietnam's main Highway 1. The bidders include Morrison Knudsen Corp. and Brown & Root International Inc. of the United States, and South Korea's Hyundai Corp., the Vietnam News said. The government expects to select the winners in August, and work is to begin in November, the paper said. Completion is expected in 1997.