Ho Chi Minh City will open an additional 17 high-quality bus routes beginning from July 1, increasing the total number to 20. At the same time, Hanoi is launching double-deck bus services “Hop On – Hop Off” dedicated for tourists keen to discover the capital.
High-quality public buses in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport organised at the end of May a seminar to review activities of three existing high-quality bus routes, including the routes linking Bến Thành to Thạnh Lộc, Bến Thành and Hiệp Thành Market, and An Sương Bus Station and Vietnam National University.
The city has received positive feedback from customers after five months of the trial of the high-quality bus service, according to Trần Chí Trung, director of the public transport operation and management centre under the Transport Department. Services on those routes have already been increased to satisfy passengers’ demand.
However, since the eco-friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) stations are located too far from the city centre, buses running on route No 3 and 33 have to spend a lot of time refueling.
Based on the good feedback from users, the city announced to expand the high-quality bus network by adding another 17 routes from July 1. The new bus routes will have even better service and more modern facilities, Trung said. New bus stations with detailed information on bus routes are also part of the plan.
Ultimately, Ho Chi Minh City could see a network of 200 bus routes instead of the current 145 routes. This would also increase the total number of lines being served by high-quality buses. Some 5,000 vehicles should serve the need of the population and visitors in Ho Chi Minh City, many of them using eco-friendly energy sources, according to the Department of Transportation.
From now to 2020, the traffic sector will need US$527 million (VNĐ1.2 trillion) in funding to upgrade infrastructure and US$3.7 billion (VNĐ8.2 trillion) in bus subsidies.
Open deck tourist buses in Hanoi
In Hanoi, a new bus service for tourists opened at the end of May. Double-Decker buses now propose Hanoi city tours as “Hop On – Hop Off” service, letting visitors enjoy Vietnam capital from an open-air deck.
The bus service is operated by Hanoitourist Travel company. Each bus has 80 seats and is equipped with modern technology, including a GPS system, free Wifi, USB plugging, a refrigerator, TV screens, and safety cameras.