A water bus departs at B​ach Dang Wharf in HCM City’s District 1 for Linh Dong Wharf in Thủ Đức Distric (Photo VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
- The number of water buses operating in Ho Chi Minh City’s new transport service remains low, causing long wait time for passengers, according to media reports.

Nguyen Kim Toan, CEO of the service’s investor, Thuong Nhat Co Ltd, said the company would put five water buses which can carry 75 passengers each on Waterway Route No 1. Currently, only three buses operate on this route.

Nguyen Van Tai, a resident in Thu Duc district, said he had taken the service to his office in early December and had to wait for nearly 20 minutes on departure and up to 30 minutes on return. The wait time was longer than the trip time, he added.

The water bus ticket price is higher than those charged by other means of transport. A one-way ticket is 15,000 VND (0.7 USD) and 600,000 VND per month compared with 250,000 VND to 300,000 VND for fuel for a motorbike.

“We have to get to work on time,” Tai said.

Chien, a resident in Tan Phu district, said that his family members visited the service on the weekend but all tickets had been sold. He hasn’t used the service since then. .

According to Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) newspaper, on December 22 the water buses departed at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 at 9:45am and arrived at Linh Dong Wharf in Thu Duc at 10:30am. However, passengers who wanted to take the return trip had to wait until 1pm on the same day.

It took passengers 45 to 50 minutes to travel from District 1 to Thu Duc district, instead of 30 minutes as announced by the investors of the new water bus service.

Most passengers are older residents and tourists, rather than students and office workers.

The investor Thuong Nhat Co Ltd said since the start of the service in late November, water buses had served 1,000 passengers per day.

A spokesman for the company said most of the passengers are travellers who just want to experience water travel. - VNA