HCMC seeks to pilot electric buses next year

By Gia Minh   December 2, 2021 | 05:30 pm PT
HCMC seeks to pilot electric buses next year
A 12-seat electric minibus runs in HCMC's District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
HCMC's Transport Department has proposed having electric buses operate on five routes on a trial basis within the first quarter of next year.

In a proposal sent recently to the city’s administration, the department stated the pilot plan should be carried out in two years, with the city subsidizing 44 percent of the operation cost.

The plan is to serve public transport development and reduce emissions in Ho Chi Minh City, it noted.

As proposed, the five routes would link Vinhomes Grand Park, a residential area in Thu Duc City, with Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Saigon Bus Station in District 1, new Mien Dong (southeastern region) Bus Station, and the precinct of Vietnam National University – HCMC in Thu Duc.

For now, bus stations already exist at five destinations and if approved, the investor only needs to establish a station at Vinhomes Grand Park, the department affirmed.

About 77 electric buses would be used, with each having a capacity of 65-70 passengers, including standing.

The suggested ticket price is VND3,000 ($13 cents) per trip for students and VND5,000-7,000 for others.

In March, HCMC People's Committee proposed to then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to operate five electric bus routes in the city for two years. Investors for these buses would be responsible for building operation centers, charging stations and maintenance costs, among others.

Most recently, the city approved the trial operation of electric buses with less than 15 seats for tourists in coastal Can Gio District in May.

HCMC currently has 126 bus routes in total, 90 of them subsidized. Each year, an average VND1 trillion is spent on these subsidized routes.

The city wants public transportation to account for 15 percent of commuters by 2025 and 25 percent by 2030, up from the current 9.2 percent, according to the Transport Department.

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