|Buses that use compressed natural gas wait for departure time at Chợ Lớn Bus Station. Photo Hoàng Hùng
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities plan to reduce investment for the first bus rapid transit route (BRT No 1) by US$12.17 million (from $155.85 million to $143.68 million), with $123.6 million to be funded by World Bank loans and the rest from the city’s State budget funds.
The city People’s Committee has asked the Prime Minister to assign the Ministry of Finance to work with relevant agencies to speed up the procedures for adjusting the funding so that construction of the BRT route can start in September.
The city said the completion date for the BRT would be extended to 2023 due to funding adjustments made by the city government.
The ticket system of the BRT No 1 is based on smart cards and NFC mobile ticketing.
The 26-km BRT No 1 will run along Võ Văn Kiệt - Mai Chí Thọ Highway across the Sài Gòn River and connect with Hà Nội Highway. The starting point is at An Lạc roundabout (Bình Tân District) and the end point is at Rạch Chiếc station in the new Thủ Đức City.
The bus route will be extended to connect with the new Western Bus Station in Tân Kiên Commune in Bình Chánh District when completed.
Buses will use compressed natural gas (CNG) and run at a speed of 40 km per hour on separate lanes. The buses are expected to reduce travel time by 30 per cent compared to regular buses.
The BRT carrying capacity will be double that of regular buses. There will be 28 stops, four stations and two transit stations along the BRT route.
There will be 42 buses with a capacity of 60-72 passengers, which will interchange with metro line No 1. This is one of six BRT routes planned by the HCM City government.
Traffic expert Phạm Sanh said the BRT would use large buses and have its own lanes and priority signal system, which will help resolve traffic congestion.
The bus route will help users access the metro line when it opens, and will expand the use of public transport by city residents.
Approved by the Prime Minister in 2013, the BRT project, initially expected to be completed by 2019, has been delayed because of a lack of funds.
The 19.7km metro line No 1 between Bến Thành Market in District 1 and Suối Tiên Theme Park in District 9 runs along the Hà Nội Highway.
The $1.9 billion route is the first of planned eight metro lines in the city. It will have 14 stations, including three underground stations.
More than 80 per cent of the work has been completed. Originally, the city wanted the metro line No 1 to start commercial operation by the end of this year, but it has been postponed until next year due to the pandemic. — VNS