Public transportation will meet 15 percent of Ho Chi Minh City’s commuting demand by 2015 as targeted, according to the municipal Department of Transport.

The current public transport system, mostly comprising buses, meets 10.53 percent of residents’ demand, it was cited as saying in local reports on July 15.

Over the last several years, the city has improved bus services to attract more passengers. It has ensured better over sight of the operations of bus companies, restructured several public transportation firms, reorganised bus routes and promoted the use of bus services, the report said.

Among the major improvements are the introduction of 53 buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG), making them more environmentally friendly, and making 153 buses easily accessible for passengers with disabilities.

The city is also drafting a plan to assemble 300 CNG buses under a 2012-15 project, the report said.

It said the department will review the pilot programme to use smart cards instead of tickets on bus routes 1 (Ben Thanh – Cho Lon Bus Station) and 27 (Ben Thanh -Au Co - An Suong Bus Station).

The department will propose that the use of smart cards is expanded to al bus routes in the city by the end of this year, and later, to all public transport services.-VNA