Saigon's first river buses tied up due to construction delays

By Minh Nga   August 22, 2017 | 02:07 pm GMT+7
Saigon's first river buses tied up due to construction delays
The first river bus in Ho Chi Minh City is launched on August 21 but will not officially operate until October. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong

The officials say they want to make the city's first river bus service as convenient for passengers as possible.

Construction delays at new river bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City mean that the new ferries will be docked until October.

The city's first river bus was taken on a test-run down the Saigon River on Monday morning.

Five boats will be operating the service when it is finally put into official operation on October 1.

The boats on the first route will sail 10.8 kilometers (6.7 miles) from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to Linh Dong Station in Thu Duc District, passing through District 2 and Binh Thanh District.

With 12 stops in total, the entire trip will take half an hour, cutting a third off the time it would take to travel by road and costing just VND15,000 (66 cents).

The city’s transport department said work on the waiting rooms at Bach Dang Wharf and Binh An Station in District 2 has yet to be completed.

Department director Bui Xuan Cuong told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that it is the city's first river bus service, so it wants to make it as satisfying and convenient for passengers as possible.

Poor quality could push passengers away, he said.

Saigon has more than 1,000km of inland waterways, so the river bus service should ease traffic and attract more tourists, he told local media on Monday.

The second route from Bach Dang Wharf to District 8 is scheduled to open in early 2018. The two routes are said to have cost an estimated VND120 billion ($5.28 million).