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City considers privately owned, electric bus fleet

Update: April, 23/2013 - 10:11

HCM CITY (VNS)— Transport Department authorities in HCM City are considering several plans to improve bus services, including private electric-powered bus companies that would operate round-the-clock in the city centre.

The city is calling for investment in two kinds of 50 electric buses, one with four seats and the other with eight.

Under the plan, which has been submitted to the municipal People's Committee for approval, the bus companies would operate like private taxi companies.

The buses will be on-call like taxis, but will park in areas where tourists are located, including hotels and restaurants.

In a separate bus-services plan, the city is also considering managing a public electric-bus route along Vo Van Kiet Road that would link the city's downtown with Cho Lon Market and Mien Tay Bus Station.

Buses managed by the city end their routes no later than 9 pm.

Besides the new electric buses, the city has updated its public bus service with Compressed Natural Gas-powered (CNG) buses.

Currently, 28 CNG foreign made buses run from the city centre to western and northeastern areas of the city.

Last year, the People's Committee assigned Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (Samco) to manufacture 300 CNG-powered buses, which are expected to be ready in April next year.

It has also assigned the Transportation Department to work with PetroVietnam to set up CNG retail stations in the city to supply fuel for the buses.

Fuel costs for CNG-powered buses are 20-25 per cent less than fossil-fuel powered buses. The CNG buses also emit less toxic fumes and are not as noisy as fossil-fuel powered buses.

The city has 2,869 buses that use an average of 30 million litres of petrol a year..

The city's Transportation Department has also submitted a plan to the People's Committee to replace 1,678 old buses with new ones that meet environmental protection standards. — VNS

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