Ho Chi Minh City is seeking the central government’s approval to launch electric bus services in urban areas in Districts 1, 3 and 7.
The city said in a statement sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Ministry of Transport that the unsubsidized services will be tested to see if they have environmental and economic advantages over buses that run on gasoline and diesel.
One route has been planned between the September 23rd Park near Ben Thanh Market to the Saigon Zoo, another around Phu My Hung luxury urban area in District 7, and the third between District 1 and in District 3.
The plan is to have 19 buses running from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with an interval of between 15 and 30 minutes.
HCMC said there’s a huge demand for public transport in the city, especially for tourists, and thus it has designed the electric bus routes to connect popular attractions and major shopping and entertainment destinations.
The city revealed the electric bus plan in May, saying the project will cost around VND4-billion (US$184,700).
Tickets are tipped to be between VND6,000-10,000 a trip. Passengers can pay VND40,000 ($1.8) for a ticket valid for unlimited rides for four hours.
A one-day pass will cost VND120,000 ($5.5).
Current public bus tickets in the city, which receive government's subsidy, cost between VND5,000-10,000 (22-44 US cents) per trip, which is usually much longer.