HCM CITY — Bus services for inner HCM City will be available throughout Tet (Lunar New Year), the year's biggest holiday season, with additional trips scheduled to take people to several amusement venues.
Like inter-city buses, inner-city public transport will be provided before, during and after Tet, the busiest transportation time of the year.
The buses, which will run on subsidised fares, are scheduled to operate during the entire Tet season, which begins on January 13 and ends on February 1.
They will not be in service on the afternoon of Lunar New Year's Eve on January 22.
Most of the buses will stop operating at 12pm on January 22 and will resume their operation at 8am the next day, the first day of the lunar year.
On some of the special routes, including one of the busiest, the Ben Thanh-Cho Lon route, service will be provided until 5pm on January 22.
During the first 10 days of the lunar new year, from January 23 to February 1, the buses will run fewer trips. They will run every 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon and every 30 minutes during the afternoon session.
The routes with the majority of passengers as students and workers taking a Tet break will have a cut-off of 2,000 trips during the holiday season.
But routes to amusement places such as Dam Sen, Suoi Tien, Thao Cam Vien parks and Ky Hoa Tourist Area will see an additional 1,000 trips during the holiday.
Each year, demand for travel to amusement areas increases greatly during the first 15 days of the lunar new year.
Nearly 1,400 trips were added to the city's service during the three-day holiday of the calendar new year, from December 31 to January 2, according to the HCM City Public Transport Management Centre.
The country's biggest city, with a population of around 10 million, is trying to make buses the most popular means of public transport in an effort to ease chronic traffic jams caused by an increasing number of motorbikes on the road and insufficient infrastructure.
There are a total of around 3,000 buses in operation all over the city. Five million motorcycles and 500,000 cars regularly ply the streets.
In an effort to achieve sustainable development, the city commissioned 21 buses to run on compressed natural gas, a greener fuel.
The city's Department of Transport last year proposed putting 1,680 buses into operation from now until 2013 in a plan to encourage the development of environmentally friendly buses. — VNS