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HCM City to launch first river-bus service

Update: February, 24/2017 - 09:00
Waterway vehicles in HCM City. The city will launch two river bus transport routes this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hải
Viet Nam News

HCM CITYHCM City plans in June to launch the first river bus transport service connecting Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 with Thủ Đức District, and a second route in September from Bạch Đằng Wharf to District 8.

The aim is to ease traffic congestion on roads, city authorities have said.

The project, invested in by Thường Nhật Ltd Co, will be carried out on the Sài Gòn River, and at Thanh Đa, Bến Nghé and Tàu Hủ canals.

The first route will connect Bạch Đằng Wharf on the Sài Gòn River with Linh Đông ward in Thủ Đức District. Nearly 11 kilometres long, it runs along Sài Gòn River and Thanh Đa Canal with seven stops.

The second route will run from Bạch Đằng Wharf to the Lò Gốm area in District 8, along Sài Gòn River, Bến Nghé and Tàu Hủ canals. It is nearly 10.3 kilometres long and has seven stops.

The ticket is expected to cost VNĐ15,000 (US$0.65) per ride, according to the company.

Thường Nhật Ltd Co says in the first phase it will have a fleet of 10 boats that can carry 60 passengers each. Together, the two services can serve 5,000 passengers per day.

Earlier, the city’s Department of Transport submitted to the municipal People’s Committee a project to build two river bus routes under a BOO (Build-Own-Operate) model.

The investor will build all passenger stations along the route except for the Bạch Đằng Wharf, where the investor proposes using existing facilities.

The company had initially planned to put the service in operation in 2016, but had to delay the opening until this year.

Experts have said that it was time, after years of discussion, to make use of the network of waterways to reduce worsening traffic conditions.

The city, with a relatively dense network of waterways, sees water transport as an appealing alternative for both locals and tourists.

Last year, city officials said that a floating market, among other waterway tourism services, will function as a major attraction.

Bùi Xuân Cường, director of the Department of Transport, has stressed the need of developing waterway transport for both passengers and goods. — VNS

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