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City waterway-bus project suspended

Update: February, 06/2012 - 10:00

HCM CITY — The project to open a waterway-bus service in HCM City has been suspended due to difficulties in setting up docking stations at canal banks, according to Tran The Ky, deputy director of the city's Transport Department.

Ky said that District 1 authorities had permitted the use of existing docks along rivers and canals in the district for bus transport but had not approved the construction of new docks.

Thuong Nhat Company, the project investor, said it would abandon the project since setting up qualified docking stations were crucial, Ky told the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

In addition to the project, HCM City authorities have recently asked the city-run Sai Gon Mechanism and Transport Corporation (SAMCO) to invest in a waterway-bus system in order to offer commuters another travelling choice and promote waterway tourism.

However, SAMCO has not had a clear reply to the city authorities. Ky said the company might need incentive bank loans and assistance from the city authorities in site clearance to build up the system.

He explained that most riverside land plots with potential for docking stations were under management of individuals. Thus, city authorities have to offer compensation when they take the land.

Ky said that most investors were willing to invest in boats, and that the city would be responsible for dredging canals as well as a subsidised ticket policy for passengers.

Both local authorities and the public support the proposal for the new waterway bus system, saying that it would deal with roadway traffic congestion and make use of the inland canal system in HCM City.

The proposal for the waterway buses was introduced last year. — VNS

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