Viet Nam News -
HCM CITY — The schedule for HCM City’s first bus rapid transit route and details of its construction have been finalised.
To run along Võ Văn Kiệt-Mai Chí Thọ Highway, it will become operational at the end of 2018, according to the Urban Civil Works Construction - Investment, Management Authority in HCM City (UCCI). The work will start at the end of this year.
The 23km BRT will run along the median strip of the highways from An Lạc Roundabout to Cát Lái Intersection.
It will have 28 stations 800-1,000 metres apart, and access to them will be by flyovers.
Buses with 80 seats will be operated.
The project consultant said a bus would depart every five to ten minutes and 31,600 passengers can be transported daily.
All 28 stations and stopovers will have Wi-Fi services, greenery to provide shade and parking lots.
BRT line No.1 will pass through Districts Bình Tân, 6, 5, and 1.
It is expected to cost VNĐ3.25 trillion (over US$155 million), including $142.2 million from official development assistance loans.
Lương Minh Phúc, head of the UCCI, said a feasibility study is being done for the project and work is scheduled to start early next year and be completed in 2018.
The UCCI will invite tenders for manufacture of buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG).
Phúc said District 2 authorities have been scrambling to relocate families to make way for the BRT management centre and terminus.
The BRT line will not only improve public transport but also contribute to urban planning along Võ Văn Kiệt – Mai Chí Thọ.
With support from the Swiss Government, the city People’s Committee and UCCI have considered building parks and other public leisure facilities near the stations.
The designs of the stations will incorporate HCM City’s unique characteristics, with those on Võ Văn Kiệt symbolising old Sài Gòn and the ones on Mai Chí Thọ reflecting a young and modern city.
The UCCI is eyeing another BRT route from Võ Văn Kiệt Street (near Bến Thành Market) to Tân Cảng (New Port in Bình Thạnh District).
It will be extended to the south-west to the new Western Bus Terminal when it is built at the intersection of Nguyễn Văn Linh Avenue and National Highway 1A.
The city is also studying five other possible routes. — VNS