HCM CITY (VNS)— The municipal administration plans to spend around US$152 million on a bus rapid transit (BRT) project that will run along the 25km Vo Van Kiet – Mai Chi Tho boulevard, connecting the eastern and western parts of HCM City.
It is expected that the BRT project will be approved by the World Bank's management board early in 2014 and submitted to the Government for placing in the Official Development Aid (ODA) list the same year.
By the end of this month, a draft project document will be completed and submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The project is part of the city's efforts to create a modern transport system for HCM City.
The International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will lend $142 million for infrastructure construction, including depots, parking lots, stations, management systems, and underground as well as elevated roads for pedestrians.
The remaining $10 million, funded by the World Bank, will be used to set up the Public Transport Administration and for human resources training.
The BRT system is expected to have 30 modern buses that will go through 1, 2, 5, 6, Binh Tan and Binh Chanh districts. The time taken to travel the 25km route will be around 45 minutes.
A green corridor that will use solar energy and have trees planted at all stations will also be part of the project.
The BRT system will provide special benefits for low-income residents, especially manual workers and students. As of now, it is estimated that they would be charged a low price of VND5,000/passenger/trip in the 2016-2020 period; VND6,000 in the 2021-2025 period and VND7,000 in the 2026-2032 period.
According the municipal Transport Department, BRT is a feasible solution for traffic congestion problem. It carries large numbers of passengers, is fast, and has much lower investment costs than metros and tramways at $1-2 million/km. — VNS