HCM City has proposed five new electric-bus routes. Most city buses run on diesel fuel or compressed natural gas. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hải
HCM CITY – The HCM City Department of Transport has asked the municipal People's Committee to approve five new subsidized electric-bus routes that will be operated by Vingroup and run on a pilot basis for 24 months.
The move is in line with the city’s drive to reduce air pollution, diversify means of green public transport, and upgrade service quality, the Department of Transport said.
The department added that it sought advice from the Department of Construction, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and People's Committee of District 9.
The five routes will connect Vingroup's Vinhome Grand Park in District 9 to important destinations, including the Korean E-mart supermarket in Gò Vấp District, Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, Sài Gòn Bus Station in District 1, the new Miền Đông (Eastern) Bus Station in District 9, and the Việt Nam National University-HCM City campus in Thủ Đức District.
The investor will add nine new bus stops on the five routes. A depot and a bus station covering 12,200sq.m will be built in the Vinhome Grand Park urban area.
A total of 77 eco-friendly electric vehicles will be put into use during the trial run.
Each 65-70 seat bus, running on fast-charging lithium ion batteries, will cost about VNĐ6.5 billion (US$280,000).
Vingroup has asked the city for a subsidy equal to 44.1 per cent of operating expenses, which is the same as that of compressed natural gas-fuelled and diesel-burning vehicles.
The subsidy will be provided for a maximum of 12 months.
The subsidised fare is VNĐ5,000 - 7,000 ($0.22 – 0.3) per trip. A student ticket is VNĐ3,000 ($0.13) per trip.
In October 2020, Vingroup received approval from the Ministry of Transport to implement its electric bus scheme in Hà Nội and HCM City.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mỹ, deputy director of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that environmental programmes since 2016 have reduced 70 per cent of the total volume of emissions from transport.
Bùi Hòa An, deputy director of the city's Department of Transport, said the department has worked with many transport enterprises to replace old polluting buses and has put 1,680 new buses into use on 52 streets.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, HCM City has one of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, producing 38.5 million of tonnes of CO2. This accounts for nearly 16 per cent of the country’s total emissions. Of this, emissions from vehicles account for 45 per cent. – VNS