|Buses at the Miền Tây (Western) Bus Station in HCM City’s Bình Tân District. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp|
HCM CITY — The municipal transport department has proposed 12 new bus routes that will expand the city’s public transport network, increase inter-locality connectivity and encourage residents to use public transportation.
The proposal has four minibus routes, four “high-quality inner city routes” and four connecting the city with adjacent provinces.
The four minibus routes will run 14-19.5km on small streets to improve residents’ access to public transport. One of these will link Ấp 5 Phong Phú Residential Area in Bình Chánh District with District 7 (People’s Committee) and another will connect the T30 Residential Area in Bình Chánh District with University of Finance and Marketing in District 7.
Two other routes will start from the Bình An Waterbus Station and end at Liên Phường Street in Thủ Đức City and Sài Gòn Bus Station in District 1, respectively.
The high-quality routes, 11-22km long, will run along the Võ Văn Kiệt - Mai Chí Thọ Highway corridor.
Three of the four inter-locality routes, 38-91km long, will connect the Tân Phú Bus Station in HCM City with bus stations in Tây Ninh, Tiền Giang and Đồng Nai provinces. One will run from the An Sương Bus Station in HCM City to the Biên Hoà Bus Station in Đồng Nai Province. These routes will be operated without price subsidies.
In 2020, the municipal People’s Committee had approved a VNĐ400 trillion (US$17.3 billion) project to improve access to public transportation and limit the use of personal vehicles over the next decade.
Under the project, public transportation would meet 15 per cent of residents’ travel demand by 2025 and 25 per cent by 2030.
As many as 50-60 new bus routes would be opened by 2025 and this will increase to around 75 by 2030. In the next 10 years, the number of buses plying the routes would double.
The city now has 128 bus routes with nearly 2,100 buses, including 91 subsidised routes.
Every year, the city provides subsidies of about VNĐ1 trillion ($43 million) to the bus companies.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s buses only transported about 53 million turns of passengers last year, just 43 per cent of 2020.
The number is expected to reach 232 million this year, a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent.
The number of passengers riding buses is increasing gradually, according to the city’s Centre for Management and Operations of Public Transport.
The average number of daily bus passengers is around 250,000, up 40 per cent over 2021 and 25 per cent compared to last month. — VNS