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Grab tests long-distance bus service in Vietnam

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:17 GMT+7
Grab tests long-distance bus service in Vietnam
Passengers commute on a bus in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Grab has begun testing GrabBus, its latest service allowing customers to book bus tickets in advance, in Vietnam with the only route between Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and the neighboring beach city of Vung Tau.

The ride-hail company said in a press release on Monday that customers can now book bus tickets to travel between the two destinations, which are some 85 kilometers apart, via the new bus-booking feature.

Avigo, Grab’s partnered bus operator, runs 24 trips a day.

GrabBus allows users of the Grab mobile app to find buses and routes that best suit their schedule, book tickets in advance, and get real-time updates on when the bus is bound to arrive.

Grab currently offers the intercity tickets at VND160,000 (US$6.88) apiece and accepts cashless payments through its Moca e-wallet or international debit and credit cards.

A QR code is sent to the user’s device after successful payment and acts as an electronic ticket that can be scanned when they get on the bus.

Passengers can hail the bus at any of the four pick-up points for the Airport-Vung Tau route, and at five stops in the opposite direction.

Vung Tau, a three-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, is a popular weekend getaway destination for residents in the southern metropolis.

Another route connecting Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 and District 1 will become available for booking through GrabBus later this year, the company said.

This urban course will be operated by City View, another partner of Grab in Vietnam, running 44 trips per day.

Vietnam is only Grab’s second market where it has launched the long-distance bus booking service.

The Singapore-based tech firm started testing the feature in the Philippines two weeks ago, allowing customers to book bus tickets for up to two weeks in advance.

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