|Fresh wheels: HCM City has told transport firms and co-operatives to replace old buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by early next year. VNS/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee has told transport firms and co-operatives to replace their old buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by early next year.
The bus replacement plan began in 2014 and will end next year.
Initially, the city plan only encouraged transport firms and co-operatives to replace their old buses with CNG vehicles. But beginning in January, the companies’old buses must be replaced with CNG buses.
To encourage transport firms and co-operatives to invest in CNG buses, the city will provide low-interest, seven-year loans.
Since 2014, transport firms and co-operatives have replaced more than 500 of their old buses, but these firms mostly purchased diesel-fueled buses, even though the city had encouraged them to buy CNG buses.
Investment capital needed for CNG-fuel buses is 30-40 per cent higher than costs for diesel-fuel powered buses, according to transport companies.
Transport firms have said they would invest in a total of 200 more buses from now to the year end, the Transport Department has said.
In 2014, the city identified 1,680 buses as too old and called for their replacement between 2014 and 2017.
The city currently has a total of about 2,700 buses, including 137 CNG buses. —VNS