Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday took the first step to make its public transport system more environmentally friendly by introducing 23 brand new buses that use compressed natural gas (CNG).
Nguyen Van Trieu, chairman of the May 19 Bus Transport Cooperative, said the new buses will be used on two routes, both connecting An Suong Terminal in Hoc Mon District in the northwest and university campuses in the northeastern district of Thu Duc.
Trieu said the buses were delivered by the state-owned Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation at the price of VND63 billion (US$2.8 million).
Natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel fuel and vehicles running on compressed natural gas have been proved to reduce undesirable emissions more significantly compared to gasoline vehicles.
HCMC government has approved a plan for 300 CNG-fueled public buses in total. As an incentive, companies operating the buses will be exempted from registration fees.
The initiative is an effort to improve the image of buses, the only public transport option available in the city at the moment.
Bus passengers in the city dropped around 11.7 percent last year, compared to 2014, according to estimates from local media.