The HCM City administration has approved the expansion of the Cat Lai ferry station connecting HCM City’s District 2 with Dong Nai province’s Nhon Trach district.

The work, to cope with the crush and reduce waiting time for passengers, is expected to cost around 100 billion VND (4.8 million USD) and take six months.

The Department of Planning and Investment has been ordered to earmark funds for the project.

The work would involve upgrading the roads leading to the stations on both sides of the Dong Nai River , and building one more pier on either bank, Tran Minh Thanh, Director of the Cat Lai Ferry Station, said.

There are 11 ferries in all, but only eight can berth at any given time. Around 50,000 people use the service every day, with the number surging to 93,000 during festivals.

A ferry can carry between 450 and 700 passengers. The number of passengers using the service has been increasing by 10-15 percent on average every year.

This year the number has increased by 12 percent over the same period last year, according to the station.

When the work is completed, the ferries are expected to carry 100,000 people a day while cutting witting time by half.

The Cat Lai ferry is popular with people traveling from HCM City to Ba Ria- Vung Tau and Dong Nai provinces since it helps shorten the distance by nearly 20km compared to traveling by National Highways 1 and 51.-VNA