The HCMC Department of Transport yesterday coordinated with investor Thuong Nhat Company to organize a ceremony to officially put the first public waterway transport route or river bus route Bach Dang-Linh Dong into operation.
At the ceremony, director of Thuong Nhat Company Tran Kim Toan said that public passenger transport by inland waterway or river bus is a new type of transport in Vietnam. It has long developed in the world.
The opening to traffic of the route will significantly serve travel demand of residents in HCMC, reduce traffic jam, develop waterway tourism, encourage residents’ habit of using public transport and diversity pubic transport types.
The 10.8 kilometer route starts from Bach Dang wharf, District 1, travels along the Saigon river, passes through Thanh Da canal and ends at Linh Dong ward, Thu Duc district.
Each trip approximates 30 minutes. Boats will stop at a station within 3-5 minutes to pick up and drop off passengers.
Five boats providing 70-75 seats will run in the route. Of these, four are regular and one on probation.
Passengers can travel free of charge in the first ten days of the route’s operation. Afterward, fare will be VND15,000 a person a trip.
The route comprises 12 stations Bach Dang in District 1; Saigon Pearl, Thanh Da and Tam Vu in Binh Thanh; Binh An and Thao Dien in District 2; Binh Trieu, Hiep Binh Chanh and Linh Dong in Thu Duc.
So far, the investor has opened five stations including Bach Dang, Binh An, Thanh Da, Hiep Binh Chanh and Linh Dong and waited for site clearance to build the remaining ones.
In addition, the company will supplement three stations namely Thu Thiem in District 2, Tan Cang in Binh Thanh and Truong Tho in Thu Duc according to requirement by the city People’s Committee.
Director of the Transport Department Bui Xuan Cuong said that the city’s river and canal system is advantageous for waterway transport development.
The first route' operation creates a foundation for others to develop, opens a new type of waterway transport and gradually improves multi-mode passenger transport. It will connect with urban railway routes to reduce pressure and dependence on the road system.
The agency is studying to propose Thuong Nhat Company to use four wheel tram cars to transport passengers from the route’s stations to hotels and tourist destinations to develop tourism.