Ho Chi Minh City plans expansion of bus ads hinh anh 1The contract signing ceremony for the pilot project to run advertisements on bus routes in HCM City. (Photo: courtesy of the Koa-Sha Vietnam Ltd Company)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Transport has drawn up a plan to put advertisements on all buses operating on 136 routes around the city after eight months of piloting the plan on 171 buses on 10 routes.

Twenty seven companies and brands, mostly from Vietnam and Japan, participated in the pilot plan to advertise cosmetics, food, sauces and pharmaceutical products.

Koa-Sha Vietnam Ltd Company is the official agency executing the pilot projects of bus ads in HCM City that began in March.

After eight months of piloting, revenue from bus ads reached 14.6 billion VND (646,000 USD), according to the Department of Transport.

Under the new plan, the department is calling for more companies, particularly those providing tourism and industrial products, to run ads on buses.

Earlier, the Department of Transport had worked with the Koa-Sha Vietnam Ltd Company to conduct a survey on the public opinion of commuters and companies using bus ads. Most of the respondents said they agreed with the idea and that bus ads that have eye-catching colours would attract the attention of commuters.

Meanwhile many transport companies said bus ads would increase the satisfaction of commuters because they make buses look more appealing.

Le Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the Department of Transport, said his department had submitted a plan to expand bus ads to the municipal People’s Committee for approval.

“If approved, all the remaining subsidised buses will have ads on them, which would bring in more than 113 billion VND (500,000 USD) in revenue every year,” Minh said.

For subsidised buses, the ads revenues will be added to the city budget. Meanwhile, for buses that are not subsidised by the city government, all the ad revenue will belong to the bus companies, who will use the funds for bus maintenance, according to Minh.

However, the city currently lacks consistent regulation on the activity.

In addition, a number of buses are now seriously deteriorated, causing many hurdles for bus ad designs and execution.             

In the long run, the city would have to establish an agency to manage and supervise bus ad activity, Minh said.

Dr. Nguyen Huu Nguyen of the Centre for National Strategy and Policies Research, said bus ads were a good idea as they brings more funding for the city budget and attract more commuters to use public transport.

“It is a waste of time and money to delay the plan to put ads on all the buses,” Nguyen noted.  

Bus ads had been banned in HCM City for more than 10 years.

The new plan aims to earn more income for bus companies, thus reducing dependence on state subsidies.

With buses gaining in popularity among commuters, students and even a number of foreigners, local businesses will benefit if their products and services are advertised on buses.

With the expected cost for advertisers of 33-50 million VND (1,460-2,200 USD) per square metre, the city could earn more than 100 billion VND (4,400 USD) from ads featured on 3,200 buses each year.-VNA