After a long lead-in time, the bus scanners on Hanoi’s Bus Rapid Transport route have finally came into operation.
Contrary to previous blog posts, it wasn’t the chaos I was expecting. Passengers with Hanoibus cards are being issued with stick-on QR Codes to activate the scanners. Annoyingly, though, the code won’t scan from inside the clear plastic pouch that I bought.
After having to take my bus card out and faff around to get the turnstile to move, I missed the BRT I was trying to catch. I returned to the turnstile and asked nicely and received a second QR sticker on the outside of the plastic wallet. Problem solved. I know for a fact plenty others have done the same in order to speed up the process.
To add the red rubber stamp to the occasion, so to speak, an opening ceremony took place with the media in attendance. Yours truly got filmed by VTV scanning his ticket at Kim Ma, but I never saw anything subsequently on VTV.
Meanwhile, in other news the flyover at Yen Phu has opened, too, relieving pressure on the intersection by the Pan Pacific. Buses are now running again on both directions on Au Co/Yen Phu as a result of the bridge, so the bottle neck at Yen Phu Nho is being avoided which should speed things up in the morning.
On the other hand, if you wish to cross the road at the newly widened section south of the roundabout there’s now six lanes of traffic to negotiate. A suicide mission even holding your non la aloft. And there’s no footbridges or underpasses. At peak times it might be easier – and a whole lot safer – taking the 41 bus up to the Quang An flower market and getting off on the opposite side of the road on the return leg.