Many important transport projects located in the upcoming Thu Duc City will soon be put into operation. Aside from a metro system, experts stated that a bus network connecting the city with satellite urban areas needs to be established to meet the transport demand of local residents.
Thu Duc City will be a smart city, thus it is necessary to take into consideration the comprehensive upgrade of infrastructure networks for further convenience and modernity.
Major projects under construction
Metro line No. 1, which connects Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9, is 19.7 kilometers long with 14 stations, and 10 of which will be in Thu Duc City, a subcity in the making in Ho Chi Minh City.
In the future, metro route No. 3a will be directly connected with line No. 1 at the Ben Thanh Terminal. All trains will be able to run from line 1 to line 3a to form a modern, radial public passenger transport corridor linking the northeast with southwest areas of Ho Chi Minh City.
Thu Duc City’s traffic infrastructure is surrounded by arterial routes such as Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway, Hanoi Highway, Highway No. 1, and Ring Road No. 2.
The minister of transport recently asked relevant units to prepare a pre-feasibility study for a plan to expand Ho Chi Minh City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway to between eight and ten lanes, which may be included in the medium-term investment plan for the 2020-25 period.
The transport minister also asked the Vietnam Railway Authority to coordinate with authorities in provinces and cities to study and consider the feasibility of the Thu Thiem - Long Thanh light railway route connecting to the Long Thanh airport.
The new Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station on the border between Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong Province will also be located in the future Thu Duc City. The new station covers a 16-hectare area, three times larger than the existing station and will be able to serve more than seven million passengers each year.
The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has requested departments and agencies to expedite the construction and complete the first phase of the project, so that the new Mien Dong Bus Station can be inaugurated on October 10.
The bus station is one of 15 typical projects that will be chosen to welcome the 11th Congress of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee of the 2020-25 tenure.
An official from the Public Transport Management Center under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that multiple transit buses have been prepared to transport passengers from the new bus station to several locations in the city.
Once metro line No. 1 is completed, navigation to the new bus station will be available and convenient to all people.
Aside from the inauguration of the new Mien Dong Bus Station, the Ho Chi Minh City administration has asked the Management Authority for Urban Railways to soon import the train of metro line No. 1 from Japan in early October.
At the construction site of the Long Binh depot, engineers have been completing technical plans and making preparations for the arrival of the train.
|Le Trung Tinh, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Intercity Passenger Transport and Tourism|
Construction of mini-bus network
According to traffic experts, Thu Duc City will be a smart city in the future, so authorities should upgrade infrastructure networks to elevate convenience and modernity, enabling residents to easily travel from home to public transport systems.
Following the construction of metro line No. 1 and the new Mien Dong Bus Station, it is necessary to build a bus rapid transit (BRT) system to link Thu Duc City with Di An City, Binh Duong Province and Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, and others, said Le Trung Tinh, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Intercity Passenger Transport and Tourism.
Authorities need to formulate favorable policies for city leaders to develop a mini-bus network as the city has many narrow streets, Tinh stated.
The Department of Transport has suggested a project providing passenger transport services with small buses, which will be integrated with a booking application, in the 2020-25 period to revive the city’s bus system.
There should be six new routes in several parts of Ho Chi Minh City, including District 2 and District 9, which will help connect new residential areas with the districts in the inner city.
The project is proposed by Busgo Company and very different from the previous mini-bus project that Ho Chi Minh City has considered.
According to Tinh, the highlight of the project is that developers will spend money buying vehicles and operating the transport means, and they will regulate bus fares based on the supply and demand mechanism of the market.
The booking app will help attract more passengers to the transport system. It will provide bus numbers, routes, and travel time, keeping passengers from waiting too long. Payment can be made with credit cards, e-wallets, and Payoo.
The project will help solve difficulties faced by Ho Chi Minh City as the number of bus passengers has been decreasing, while bus service quality has not been improved over the past five years, Tinh said.
In the future, authorities should pay attention to mini-buses in order to create a herringbone network of buses carrying passengers to metro and bus stations.
However, the Ministry of Transport has not agreed on the use of mini-buses, according to Tinh.
“The transport ministry should reconsider and allow the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport to pilot this project within a few years to attract private investors to the modern bus network," he said.