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Electric buses planned for ‘backpacker area’ in Ho Chi Minh City

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 16:19 GMT+7
Electric buses planned for ‘backpacker area’ in Ho Chi Minh City

One of the two routes of electric buses will run through an area dubbed the “backpacker area” in Ho Chi Minh City, the Department of Transport said in a plan submitted to local authorities for consideration.

The area is located in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, often called the “backpacker area” because of the community of foreigners who stay there when they visit the city as tourists.

In its plan, the department said every passenger would pay VND6,000-12,000 (US$0.27-0.54) per ticket for their trip on electric buses.

Of the two routes, the first one would take in the “backpacker area,” Thai Binh Market, Cao Thang School, Cu Market, the Nguyen Hue pedestrian street, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, some trade centers and administrative agencies located on the main thoroughfares in the downtown area.   

Meanwhile, Route 2 would operate along the west corridor of the downtown area, running past 23/9 Park and other main streets including Pham Ngu Lao, Cong Quynh, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Le Duan, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Truong Dinh, Tran Quoc Thao, and others.

It would also include a stop at the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, according to the department.

If the plan is approved, 11 electric buses with 12 seats each will operate on a pilot basis from 5:00 am to 6:30 pm every day, the department said.

The electric buses would run at up to 30kph and at an interval of 10 or 15 minutes.

Tickets would cost VND6,000-VND12,000, but the handicapped, the elderly and children under 1.3 meters tall would be exempt, the department said.

The department has asked officials to allow it to launch Route 1 before running Route 2.

Forty-five days after the People’s Committee approves the plan, Route 1, the first electric bus line in the city, will be put into operation, the department said.

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