Hanoi double-decker buses unable to shift to high gear

By Vo Hai   October 28, 2018 | 01:52 am PT
Hanoi double-decker buses unable to shift to high gear
Hanoi's double-decker bus. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Launched with much fanfare, Hanoi’s double-decker buses have failed to attract enough passengers, a new report says.

The municipal Department of Transport has reported to the Hanoi Party Committee that the city’s first batch of double-decker buses, launched in May, managed to attract just 6.9 passengers per ride in July.

One VND6 billion ($258,600) bus has a maximum capacity of 80 passengers.

The department said more time was needed to boost the popularity of Hanoi’s double-decker buses. It said the small number of buses, long wait time and high ticket prices have contributed to the lackluster performance.

The first line has just three buses, so the waiting time is approximately 30 minutes.

The agency responsible for launching the service was “inexperienced in tourism” and required the assistance of other businesses to promote and operate the bus line, resulting in high costs, the department said, explaining the high ticket prices.

Currently, the prices are VND650,000 ($29) for 48 hours, VND450,000 ($19) for 24 hours, VND300,000 ($13) for four hours and VND196,000 ($8.36) for two hours.

The first double-decker bus route has 13 stops and goes through 25 streets, taking tourists to 30 attractions in the city, including the St. Joseph Cathedral on Nha Chung Street, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum on Ly Thuong Kiet Street and the Hoa Lo Prison on Hoa Lo Street.

The buses are equipped with a narration system on all attractions that can be listened to in several languages.

The city has also green lighted a second line to be launched this month. The new route will be 14.8 kilometers long, and start every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to half past five in the afternoon.

It will have 10 stops, starting on Ngo Quyen Street. It will share several stops with the first route.

Take a look at Hanoi's first ever double-decker buses.

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