Vietnam News

HCMC may self-deploy electric buses

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Ho Chi Minh City is now allowed to deploy electric public buses on trial basis, the government office said.

The decision was made following the city’s proposal late last month to operate five electric bus routes with 77 buses in two years, under the condition the deployment must be feasible, appropriate to HCMC traffic conditions and not incur a national budget loss.

While HCMC has yet to announce a pricing scheme for the buses, which should take into account things like material and maintenance costs, along with labor, it could learn from Hanoi’s own policies, which is currently applying a pricing scheme for buses running on compressed natural gases (CNG). The current price rate for CNG buses in Hanoi is between VND19,000 to VND24,000 ($0.83-1.04) per kilometer.

Late last month, HCMC People’s Committee proposed to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to operate five electric bus routes in the city for two years. The buses, each with up to 70 seats, would run on electricity. Proposed ticket prices for passengers range from VND3,000 to VND7,000. Investors for these buses would be responsible for building operation centers, charging stations and maintenance costs, among others.

HCMC currently has 128 bus routes in total, 91 of them subsidized. Each year, an average VND1 trillion is spent on these subsidized routes. It is operating a number of electric buses in the downtown District 1, serving tourists.

The city wants public transportation to account for 15 percent of commuters by 2025 and 25 percent by 2030, up from the current 9.2 percent, according to its Department of Transport.

By Gia Minh – VnExpress.net –  April 4, 2021 

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