Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Thường Nhật Co. Ltd. on Monday started the first public river bus route in HCM City.
The 10.8-km Bạch Đằng- Linh Đông route starts at Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1, goes through Sài Gòn Pearl in Bình Thạnh District, Bình An and Thảo Điền in District 2, Tầm Vu and Thanh Đa in Bình Thạnh District, and Bình Triệu, Hiệp Bình Chánh and Linh Đông in Thủ Đức District with 12 stops en route.
Five 80-seat boats have been deployed on the route, which takes around half an hour to cover compared to 45 minutes by road.
The public-private operation is in test mode and would become official in October, Nguyễn Kim Toản, director of the company, said.
The fare is VNĐ 15,000 (US$0.7).
Three more stops would be added later in Thủ Thiêm in District 2, Tân Cảng in Bình Thạnh and Trường Thọ in Thủ Đức, Toản said.
Early next year Thường Nhật will begin a second route from Bạch Đằng to Lò Gốm Port.
The 10.3km route will go through Bến Nghé Canal, and Tàu Hủ Canal before reaching the port in District 6.
“The low rate of use of public transport is the biggest challenge to public water transport,” Toản said.
Bùi Xuân Cường, director of the Department of Transport, said the city has yet to explore public water transport despite having more than 1,000km of canals and rivers.
Taxis account for a lion’s share of public transport and buses for only 10 per cent, he said.
The boat service is expected to ease the pressure on road transport, he added. —VNS