Ho Chi Minh City Sets its First River “Bus”

How to avoid congested roads? Ho Chi Minh City just put in service a new public boat called “River Bus”…

After Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is putting into operation its first river bus route on August 21sst. According to Nguyen Kim Toan, Director of Thuong Nhat Co. Ltd, one-way ticket for the boat are priced at VND15,000- representing less than one US dollar.

The route starts at Bach Dang wharf (District 1), follows the Sai Gon river through Thanh Da canal, then ends at the crossing station on Binh Quoi river (Linh Dong ward, Thu Duc district), and vice versa.

There are a total of seven stops along the route in Districts 1, 2, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc.

As calculated by the investor, with the distance of nearly 11 kilometers, the travel time is 30 minutes for each trip. Before being put into operation, the route was put through a trial run from June 30th to July 30th.

According to the city’s authority, the operation of the river bus will help local residents have more means of transport in order to reduce traffic jams.

Currently, boat operator Thuong Nhat Co. Ltd is analysing the feasibility of a second river bus route. The second line would pass through Saigon districts 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8 with a total length of 10.3 km. It would stretch from Bach Dang wharf running along Saigon river through Ben Nghe canal and Tau Hu channel to Lo Gom wharf, and return. The route could open in just one year time.

The first line and the second planned boat route requested a total investment of US$5.5 million (VND125 billion). According to experts, HCM City administration will also have to work on cleaning the river from the garbage dragged by boat engines and which slows down the running boats.