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HCMC ends Bus Rapid Transit route No. 1

Released at: 09:19, 12/09/2017

HCMC ends Bus Rapid Transit route No. 1

Photo: Internet Archives

Daily passenger numbers insufficient to continue Bus Rapid Transit route, authorities decide.

by Tue Lam

Ho Chi Minh City has decided to end the implementation of the 29-km BRT No. 1 (Bus Rapid Transit) route along Vo Van Kiet - Mai Chi Tho after receiving a report evaluating its effectiveness during the course of its first year.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport, the number of passengers in its first year was only 17,700 per day; not much higher than on existing regular bus routes and even lower than on certain routes.

The department believes that instead of investing capital in the BRT, the city should purchase high-quality buses. The city does not need to invest in intelligent transportation systems, lane upgrades along the route, ticket control equipment, waiting rooms, infrastructure, and buses. The use of high-quality buses would also attract ODA capital.

Mr. Luong Minh Phuc, Head of the Urban - Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City (UCCI), the investor of the BRT project, said he had agreed to end the route.

“The results of the survey together with the evaluation of the BRT model in Hanoi show that the investment in BRT at this time in Ho Chi Minh City is not suitable,” he said. “Instead, the city should use high-quality buses.”

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee had previously assigned UCCI to invest in the research and implementation of the BRT No. 1 route, with total investment of $144 million.

Ho Chi Minh City currently has three routes using high-quality buses that are not subsidized, with ticket prices of VND20,000 ($0.8), from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the city center, hospitals, and major bus stations.

The city plans to introduce 800 new buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) by the end of this year.

In preparation for their operation, the People’s Committee has called on the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to open nine additional CNG filling stations and expand its four existing stations.  

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