Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The number of water buses operating in HCM City’s new transport service remains low, causing long wait time for passengers, according to media reports.
Nguyễn Kim Toàn, CEO of the service’s investor, Thường Nhật Co Ltd said the company would put five water buses which can carry 75 passengers each on Waterway Route No 1. Currently, only three buses operate on this route.
Nguyễn Văn Tài, a resident in Thủ Đức District, said he had taken the service to his office in early December and had to wait for nearly 20 minutes on departure and up to 30 minutes on return. The wait time was longer than the trip time, he added.
The water bus ticket price is higher than those charged by other means of transport. A one-way ticket is VNĐ15,000 (US$0.7) and VNĐ600,000 per month compared with VNĐ250,000 to VNĐ300,000 for fuel for a motorbike.
“We have to get to work on time,” Tài said.
Chiến, a resident in Tân Phú District, said that his family members visited the service on the weekend but all tickets had been sold. He hasn’t used the service since then. .
According to Sài Gòn Tiếp Thị (Sài Gòn Marketing) newspaper, on December 22 the water buses departed at Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 at 9:45am and arrived at Linh Đông Wharf in Thủ Đức at 10:30am. However, passengers who wanted to take the return trip had to wait until 1pm on the same day.
It took passengers 45 to 50 minutes to travel from District 1 to Thủ Đức District, instead of 30 minutes as announced by the investors of the new water bus service.
Most passengers are older residents and tourists, rather than students and office workers.
The investor Thường Nhật Co Ltd said since the start of the service in late November, water buses had served 1,000 passengers per day.
A spokesman for the company said most of the passengers are travellers who just want to experience water travel. — VNS