|The first river bus route connecting Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 with Thủ Đức District will start operating on the Sài Gòn River as soon as early July. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu
HCM CITY — HCM City expects to launch the first river bus route as soon as early July, connecting the Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 with Thủ Đức District, according to the city’s Department of Transport.
The department said it had signed a BOO contract (Build-Own-Operate) with Thường Nhật (Daily) Co., Ltd to build two river bus routes for inland waterway transport.
The first route is about 11 kilometres long running along Sài Gòn River and Thanh Đa Canal and ends at Bình Quới River in Thủ Đức District.
It will have seven passenger stations running through districts 1, 2, Bình Thạnh and Thủ Đức.
Nguyễn Kim Toản, the investment company’s director, said the first river-bus route would be completed at the end of June and open in early July.
The second river bus route, 10.3km long, is expected to launch in September. It runs from Bạch Đằng Wharf along the Sài Gòn River, crossing Bến Nghé and Tàu Hủ canals, through districts 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8, he said.
In the first stage of the project, 10 boats with a capacity of at least 60 passengers each will be equipped modern, safe and comfortable devices.
The two services are expected to transfer about 5,000 passengers daily with an estimated fare of 15,000 (US$0.7) per ride.
Experts said that a network between waterways and roads was needed to reduce serious traffic pressure.
The city should build bus-road routes, bus-road stations and parking lots to serve passengers at each river-bus stop, they said.
The city’s people’s Committee also approved a project to build two more river-bus routes, from Bạch Đằng Wharf to District 7, with one ending at Mũi Đèn Đỏ and another ending in Phú Mỹ Hưng Area.
The city has 112 waterways routes on canals and rivers, totaling about 1,000 kilometres long. — VNS