HCMC resumes public bus services

By Huu Nguyen   May 3, 2020 | 05:57 am PT
HCMC resumes public bus services
A bus stop on Ham Nghi Street in downtown HCMC, March 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Public buses in HCMC will resume operations on 72 routes Monday after a Covid-19 induced break of more than a month. 

The 72 routes will comprise 69 subsidized routes and three non-subsidized ones running to the neighboring Dong Nai Province, the HCMC People's Committee announced Sunday.

One route between Saigon's Cho Lon Bus Terminal and Dong Nai's Bien Hoa Bus Terminal had resumed operations on April 28.

Another 27 subsidized routes that are typically used by students of several schools and universities will remain closed until further notice, according to the city's Public Transport Management and Operation Center.

A river bus route in the city will also resume operation Monday after being suspended since March 25. Some other inter-provincial routes will also resume normal operations next week, the center said.

The city government has required transportation firms and passengers to follow all Covid-19 safety protocols when operating and using public transportation services.

HCMC had suspended all public bus services starting April 1, when a nationwide social distancing campaign was launched as a preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus. The southern metropolis operates public buses on 132 routes that an average of 251,000 passengers use every day, many of them students and low-income earners.

While the city ended its 22-day social distancing on April 23, it has kept in place many restrictions on public gathering and many "non-essential" businesses like bars and karaoke parlors remain closed.

Vietnam recorded a new Covid-19 patient Sunday evening, rising the national infection tally to 271 with 54 active cases.

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