The plan was approved for more than a year and a half -it was officially unveiled to the public in August 2015-, it became concrete this week. According to Ho Chi Minh City specialized website “Saigoneer”, Vietnam Southern metropolis furst river bus line is ready to be operational by the end of this month.
The website reported that, after a survey trip on Saigon’s inaugural river bus line last Saturday, officials from the city’s Department of Transport said that the route will officially launch later this month.
Despite having been “open” since last August, Saigoneers who were eager to try out the waterborne form of transport were turned away by staff at the line’s District 1 terminal since the river buses were still on trial, explained the website.
At the time, only the two end stations of the route were completely built. However, this time transport officials seem positive that the service can launch in November.
From the Bach Dang Wharf in downtown Saigon, passengers will travel a distance of 10.8 kilometers to the other end in Thu Duc District along the Saigon River and Thanh Da Canal. The whole journey will take 45 minutes, and the boats will stop for three minutes at each station.
The November launch will only serve three other stops at the moment, apart from the two end stations: Binh An Station in District 2, Thanh Da Station in Binh Thanh District, and Hiep Binh Chanh Station in Thu Duc District.
In the future, the route will eventually include the remaining stations, namely Thu Thiem, Saigon Pearl, Tan Cang, Thao Dien, Tam Vu, Binh Trieu and Truong Tho.
Passengers will be charged VND15,000 (US$0.66) per trip during the route’s service hours from 6am to 7:30pm.
Ho Chi Minh City officials will start an electric bus service for tourists to commute between river bus stations and Saigon’s places of interests.