Smart cards set for trial run on HCM City buses
HCM CITY (VNS)— Smart cards would soon to be tested on HCM City buses to evaluate passenger interest, the Public Transport Management and Operation Centre has said.
The cards will initially be issued on certain routes including Cho Lon-Agriculture University, Cho Lon-An Suong Coach Station, Ben Thanh–Hiep Thanh and Ben Thanh-Cho Lon.
To be issued from January, they will cost around VND69,000 for 30 trips and VND90,000 for 60, while for students it will be just VND63,000.
The centre plans to begin issuing the cards on all routes during the course of next year, expanding in later years to also be issued on metro routes once they are built.
Phan Minh Tan, director of the Department of Science and Technology, said, "efforts are on to make cards that are convenient to use, do not deteriorate, and are not too expensive."
HCM City will spent around VND200 billion (US$10 million) annually for a four-year project to upgrade its bus transport system beginning this year, according to the Department of Transport.
Around 1,680 new buses will be bought to take the total number to 3,100, which will meet 9.4 per cent of the demand.
The department's deputy director, Duong Hong Thanh, said 350 buses fuelled by compressed natural gas would be among those introduced by 2015.
CNG buses, which are cheaper and cleaner, would help improve the environment and save about 35-40 per cent of costs compared to diesel buses, he added.
The first two CNG buses were introduced last year and have shown good results.
The bus system carried more than 316 million turns of passengers last year, 13 million less than in 2010. — VNS