Buses in southern Vietnam will soon have a new appearance.
Advertisements will cover the sides of shuttle buses in Ho Chi Minh City while Wi-Fi can now be accessed on buses in Binh Duong, a neighboring province of the southern metropolis, local officials said.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport said on Wednesday that there will soon be advertisements on the sides of the city’s public buses.
The announcement came on the same day that the auction center of the city’s justice department opened bidding to enterprises interested in the advertising space.
According to the city’s transport department, the auction is part of a pilot project started last August that focuses on placing advertisements on170 public busses that cover ten of the city’s bus routes.
The goal of the project is to utilize the outdoor public vehicle space as a source of revenue to reduce dependence on state subsidies.
The department estimates that profits from the project could exceed VND10 billion (US$448,700) annually.
If the project proves to be a success, the department will submit a recommendation that the municipal People’s Committee allow advertisements on 2,344 buses with 40 seats and above.
Total profits from advertisements on these vehicles could top VND170 billion ($7.63 million) per annum.
Passengers in the new environment-friendly, Wi-Fi-enabled bus in Binh Duong, a southern province of Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Wi-Fi now accessible on enviro-friendly buses in Binh Duong
The Binh Duong People’s Committee and Becamex Tokyu Co. Ltd – a Vietnam-Japan infrastructure-transport joint venture – added five more ‘green bus’ routes with Wi-Fi-equipped shuttles in the province on Tuesday.
The buses run on compressed natural gas (CNG), a substance consisting of methane stored at high pressure which is becoming a popular alternative source for gasoline, diesel, or propane, the firm said.
CNG combustion emits fewer undesirable gases and leaves considerably less negative impact on the environment than those mentioned above.
Becamex Tokyu Bus also noted that project is being funded by foreign direct investment.
The five routes include two lines that connect the provincial capital, Thu Dau Mot, with the provincial administrative center and three lines that operate in Binh Duong New City.
Takashi Furukawa, general director of Becamex Tokyu Bus, said that passengers traveling on such vehicles board using magnetic stripe cards purchased in advance instead of paying for traditional bus tickets.
The buses also provide free Wi-Fi, he added.
The provincial People’s Committee will initially support a part of the fares to encourage people to travel by bus.
The current fares for the CNG-fueled buses in Binh Duong are VND5,000 ($0.224) for students and VND10,000 ($0.448) for adults.