The first river bus route connecting Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 with Thu Duc district will start operating on the Sai Gon River as soon as early July. (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) - HCM City expects to launch the first river bus route as soon as early July, connecting the Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 with Thu Duc District, according to the municipal Department of Transport.

The department said it had signed a BOO contract (Build-Own-Operate) with Thuong Nhat Co., Ltd to build two river bus routes for inland waterway transport.

The first route is about 11 kilometres long running along Saigon River and Thanh Da Canal and ends at Binh Quoi River in Thu Duc district.

It will have seven passenger stations running through districts 1, 2, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc.

Nguyen Kim Toan, the investment company’s director, said the first river-bus route would be completed at the end of June and open in early July.

The second river bus route, 10.3km long, is expected to launch in September. It runs from Bach Dang Wharf along the Saigon River, crossing Ben Nghe and Tau Hu canals, through districts 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8, he said.

In the first stage of the project, 10 boats with a capacity of at least 60 passengers each will be equipped modern, safe and comfortable devices.

The two services are expected to transfer about 5,000 passengers daily with an estimated fare of 15,000 VND (70 US cents) per ride.

Experts said that a network between waterways and roads was needed to reduce serious traffic pressure.

The city should build bus-road routes, bus-road stations and parking lots to serve passengers at each river-bus stop, they said.

The municipal People’s Committee also approved a project to build two more river-bus routes, from Bach Dang Wharf to District 7, with one ending at Mui Den Do and another ending in Phu My Hung area.

The city has 112 waterways routes on canals and rivers, totaling about 1,000 kilometres long. -VNA