The much-awaited river bus service, the first of its kind in Ho Chi Minh City, is set to launch on November 25, with a ten-day free ticket promotional campaign to attract passengers.
Following three months of technical setup and a survey trip earlier this month, the waterway bus will officially launch this Saturday, its operator, Thuong Nhat Co Ltd, said on Monday.
The 10.8-kilometer route is set to connect Bach Dang Port in District 1 with Linh Dong Ward in the outlying district of Thu Duc, running along the Saigon River and Thanh Da Canal.
The water bus will pick up passengers at three stops along the 30-minute route, namely Binh An (District 2), Thanh Da (Binh Thanh District) and Hiep Binh Chanh (Thu Duc District).
The service will be available for free for the first ten days of launch, Thuong Nhat Co. director Nguyen Kim Toan was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper as saying.
“The promotional program is intended to attract passengers and to create the habit of traveling by water bus among local residents,” Toan said.
Normal fares will cost VND15,000 (U$0.66) per person per trip, with ticket booths installed at the service’s two terminals and stops.
Toan said five water buses, capable of carrying 80 passengers each, will be deployed for the Bach Dang-Linh Dong service.
The Bach Dang-Linh Dong route is the first of two waterway bus services Thuong Nhat plans to develop, realizing a dream the company has held on to for decades.
The second service, connecting Bach Dang with Lo Gom in District 6, began development at the same time as the Bach Dang-Ling Dong route, but is yet to be completed as a sewer construction is blocking the waterway near Ben Nghe Canal, according to Nguoi Lao Dong.
Thuong Nhat Co. is calling on the developer of the sewer to speed up construction so it can put its’ second river bus route into service next year.