Sunday, 17 Feb 2019

Hanoi's first double-decker buses: Attractive yet expensive

Updated at Monday, 11 Jun 2018, 18:49
The Hanoitimes - The city tour offered by Hanoi’s first double-decker buses lures much attention. Yet it quickly receives the cold shoulder from Hanoi people due to the excessively high ticket price.
The double-decker bus in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung
The double-decker bus in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung

70% of passenger choose the ticket of lowest price frame
Opening on May 31, the double-decker sightseeing buses have attracted nearly 1,000 passengers by June 9, according to Hanoi Transport Corporation (Transerco) – the developer of Hanoi City Tour.
Currently, three ranges of prices on offer are VND300,000 (US$13.2) for four hours, VND450,000 (US$19.8) for 24 hours and VND650,000 (US$28.6) for 48 hours. However, nearly third-quarter of tickets sold are in the lowest price level of VND300,000 per four hours.
Responses show that the current price fits foreign travelers, but remains a trouble for local’s wallets. 
Daisy Fenda, an Australian tourist who experienced the City tour told Hanoitimes: “It’s an interesting tour, well beyond travelling by taxi or on-feet.” Some other travelers also note their impression with the bus including high quality speakers introducing about Hanoi city or flexible on-off stops as variable as passengers’ demands.
Meanwhile, some locals said the price should be adjusted to match locals' demand. Nguyen Van Tuan, a citizen from Ha Dong District is among those. “I’m eager to try the double-decker bus”, he said with reluctance. “However, it would take my six-people family nearly VND1.8 million for a tour, an unaffordable price for us," Tuan added.
Besides, Le Thi Hoa from Quoc Oai district is worried how the buses serve in struggling weather condition. “People get on the double-decker bus mostly for sightseeing. Yet with the open top, may it serve the passengers during heavy rains or sunshine?”, doubted Hoa.
According to Transerco, the bus with capacity of 80 people, which comes every 30 minutes but currently serves merely 100 passengers per day, mostly foreign tourists.
To lure more domestic passengers
Transerco’s representative said this is due to the tour’s initial target to serve the foreign tourists. However, locals warn that locals cannot be ignored.
Sharing on this, Nguyen Van Tuan, a worker from Ha Dong District said: “You may serve the tourists worldwide but without sparing a thought to domestic passengers, you will not be welcomed”.
According to Transerco, the firm is working to set a new price level that is adaptable to the domestic passengers, maybe changes in time frame and turns are needed, its representative told Hanoitimes. “We have eyed trimming some services to ease the price”, hinted him.
The company has also proposed the Ministry of Transport an additional canopy for the buses to ensure the service in harsh climate.
Cam Anh
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