HCM City’s 1st river bus begins operation
Five public river buses are opened to service in HCM City on Monday. – Photo: VNS
The 10.8-km Bach Dang- Linh Dong route starts at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1, goes through Sai Gon Pearl in Binh Thanh District, Binh An and Thao Dien in District 2, Tam Vu and Thanh Da in Binh Thanh District, and Binh Trieu, Hiep Binh Chanh and Linh Dong in Thu Duc 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, Nguyen Kim Toan, director of the company, said.
The fare is VND 15,000 (US$0.7).
Three more stops would be added later in Thu Thiem in District 2, Tan Cang in Binh Thanh and Truong Tho in Thu Duc, Toan said.
Early next year Thuong Nhat will begin a second route from Bach Dang to Lo Gom Port.
The 10.3km route will go through Ben Nghe Canal, and Tau Hu Canal before reaching the port in District 6.
“The low rate of use of public transport is the biggest challenge to public water transport,” Toan said.
Bui Xuan Cuong, 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.