Under the new rule, the vehicles, both pedalled and motored, are completely banned from downtown areas, but can run outside it from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning.

However, many of the modified three-wheeled vehicles were found running in districts 5, Tan Binh and Go Vap during the day.

L. in District 3 was still collecting rubbish along Tran Quang Dieu Street with his home-made rickshaw.

Many drivers said they have known about the ban but "It's boring! We've heard about it so many times.

"We just run our way, at least there's been no police official to stop us so far," said driver Bay Lanh on Hung Vuong Street.

They had also heard about the city's policies to help them find other jobs or other means of transport, but said "we're actually on our own."

Meanwhile, district authorities said they're waiting for a ruling from the city People's Committee about supporting thousands of people dependent on the vehicles.

The committee vice chair Nguyen Thanh Tai said on Tuesday that a specific plan will be released within this month, first to enable the poorest among them to obtain driving licenses, borrow money at low interest rates to buy other vehicles or to find other jobs.

Le Hieu Dang, vice chair of HCM City Fatherland Front Committee, recalled that the municipal government had made no official notice even when there were only a couple of days to go before the ban took effect, which raised uncertainty among the residents.

Now that the ban is effective, officially, poorer locals are concerned they cannot afford to hire a small truck for moving when needed while many wonder how furniture and other items will be carried to and from small alleys.

These are questions the committee has not managed to answer, Dang said.

Thanh Nien News - January 5, 2009