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Feb 16, 2022 / 15:55

Electric bus is to roll in HCMC within this quarter

It is the first of the five electric-bus lines to be piloted in the southern economic hub for two years.

The first electric-bus line is expected to be inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) within the first quarter of 2022, according to the municipal Department of Transport.

The HCMC People's Committee has just approved the project on running an electric battery bus line on a trial basis following a proposal by its transport department. It is the first of the five electric-bus lines to be piloted in the southern economic hub for two years.

 An electric bus on trial run in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tran Le

During the trial period, the bus fares for the new service are suggested to be the same as for buses using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), meaning VND3,000 (US$ 0.13) per ride for students, and between VND5,000 (US$0.22) and VND7,000 (US$0.31) for other commuters.

Around 77 electric buses will run on these routes from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm, each with a capacity of 65-70 passengers.

The five proposed electric bus lines are those connecting the Vinhome Grand Park Urban Area in Thu Duc City to the Emart trade center in Go Vap District; the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District; the Saigon bus station in District 1; the new Mien Dong Coach Station in Thu Duc City; and the Vietnam National University HCMC urban area in Thu Duc City.

Electric buses will share the same existing stations with other vehicles running on other types of fuel, in addition to nine more stations to be built by the investor of the five electric bus routes, Vinbus Ecology Transport Services Limited Liability Company, a subsidiary of Vingroup. The business will also build a parking lot with an area of over 12,200 square meters at the Vinhome Grand Park Urban Area, and charging stations.

The routes are aimed at linking new residential areas, high-tech parks, administrative areas in Thu Duc City and those that have yet to access public transport services.

The department said that HCMC will provide a subsidy of 44% of the cost for the operator of these bus lines during the trial phase, and the rate will be adjusted after the municipal People's Committee issues technical norms and unit cost for electric buses.

HCMC currently has 126 bus lines, of which 90 are subsidized by the city’s government while 36 others are not. It has already piloted three electric bus lines, using 12-seat minibusses, in districts 1 and 7. The city has recently approved a two-year pilot of electric public transport using cars with fewer than 15 seats in Can Gio District. These vehicles would take tourists to hotels and tourist sites.

Hanoi launched its first electric bus service in December 2021 on three lines, with a frequency of 10-15 minutes.