Illustrative Image (Source:VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) - The central city of Da Nang plans to open a 31.8km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route connecting the Da Nang International Airport and favourite destinations with Hoi An City in neighbouring Quang Nam Province.

Head of the city’s managing board of Priority Infrastructure Projects, Luong Thach Vy, has confirmed to Vietnam News that the bus route is included in the World Bank-funded sustainable development project.

Vy said on July 25 the route will be constructed later this year before beginning operation in 2018 with 10 BRT standard buses.

The route will link the city’s downtown area, shopping centres, tourism destinations and Hoi An City, and ease traffic in the city from 2016-20.

The central city asked transport departments of Quang Nam and Da Nang to set up bus stops and reserve land for terminal development both in Hoi An and Da Nang cities.

It will be the first BRT route in the central region, creating a smooth commuter service for local people and tourists as well as connecting favourite destinations in Da Nang and the UNESCO-recognised world heritage Hoi An City.

Currently, Da Nang operates five bus routes from Da Nang to Quang Nam Province’s cities and districts including Hoi An, Duy Xuyen, Que Son, Dai Loc and Tam Ky.

Da Nang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and is highly regarded by other cities for its planning, governance and infrastructure.

In 2013, the World Bank agreed an 272.1 million USD sustainable development project, of which 202.4 million USD will be funnelled into helping improve the city’s BRT network, build new roads and revamp the drainage system.

As scheduled, the city also plans to develop five BRT routes and 14 regular bus routes by 2020.

With a population of 900,000, Da Nang has outgrown its current public transit system, which only has 48 buses travelling along five routes.

Local people make 2.1 million journeys each day, of which 80 percent are via motorbike, according to the city’s transport department.

The bus routes will operate 16 hours a day, from 5am to 9pm.-VNA