HCMC's electric bus operator reports loss

By Gia Minh   August 4, 2023 | 03:48 pm PT
HCMC's electric bus operator reports loss
A bus of the D4 electric bus line in HCMC's District 1, March 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
The first large electric bus line of Ho Chi Minh City could not attract enough passengers to cover its operating cost, the municipal Department of Transport said.

The department said that although the line has attracted more customers, 21 per ride compared to 14 last year, the revenues are only a fifth of cost, which is VND702,496 (US$30).

The D4 electric bus line, connecting Vinhomes Grand Park in Thu Duc City and Saigon Bus Station in District 1, is operated by Vinbus Ecology Transport Service.

HCMC now subsides 44.1% of the operating cost, still leaving the operator to suffer a loss of VND239,000 for each ride.

Launched on a pilot basis last March, the D4 line is the first among five large electric bus lines to be trialed in HCMC. The other four lines are scheduled to run from later this year from Vinhomes Grand Park to Emart Mall, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Saigon Bus Station, New Mien Dong Station and Vietnam National University.

To support the operator, the Transport Department has proposed that the city raise the subsidy rate to 64.8%.

HCMC currently has more than 2,100 buses operating on 129 lines.

The city already trialed electric bus lines in the past, but they were only limited to 15 seats and operated in downtown areas, District 7 and Can Gio District, mostly for tourists.

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