Fanfare as Saigon’s river buses make maiden voyage

By Quynh Tran   November 25, 2017 | 04:03 pm GMT+7
The buses set sail on Saturday morning after multiple delays, offering free rides to locals.

Saigon’s river bus terminal at Bach Dang Wharf, across Nguyen Hue walking street, opens to travelers on Saturday morning.


Hundreds of people line up to try the new service. The first route covers nearly 11 kilometers (seven miles) on the Saigon River, from the wharf in District 1 to a ferry pier in Thu Duc District to the northeast of the city.


Tickets cost VND15,000 ($0.66) a person, but Vietnamese will not have to pay during the first 10 days.


The 75-seat bus is filled. The journey takes around half an hour, besides three minutes for each of 12 stops.


Passengers take a view along the Saigon River. A man from Thu Duc said this might be his new route to work. “There’s no exhausting traffic jams like when you ride a motorbike,” he said.


For Lai Van Tu, retired, the bus is an affordable means for sightseeing.


A woman from northern Vietnam who is on vacation here in Saigon takes a photo with the captain.


Air-conditioned river buses are hoped to reduce traffic jams in Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city. The first river bus was originally scheduled to launch last summer, but construction delays have kept passengers waiting on the dock.

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