The Ho Chi Minh City Management Center of Public Transport has mooted that all bus routes in the metropolis be allowed to resume operations by November 15, as the COVID-19 situation has been alleviated.
The center has submitted to the municipal Department of Transport a stepwise plan to reopen all bus routes in the city, which will depend on residents’ travel demand and the developments of the pandemic.
From October 25 to November 1, 16 important bus lines are expected to be restored, connecting major bus stations and bus stops in the southern economic hub.
From November 8, another 29 routes will reopen if the pandemic situation continues to improve, followed by those linking industrial parks, export processing zones, and wholesale markets.
From November 15, the remaining 41 bus routes will be put back into operation.
Routes No. 50, 52, and 86, whose passengers are mainly students, will reopen when authorities allow them to go back to school.
All bus routes will operate from 4:00 am to 7:00 pm daily and at 70 percent of their regular capacity.
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will also discuss with their counterparts in neighboring localities regarding the resumption of intercity bus lines.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality in the country since the fourth outbreak began on April 27, documenting over 426,800 local infections.
The municipal authorities had imposed social distancing measures at various levels since May 31 and suspended public transport, including buses, from June 20.
As the city has achieved good results in pandemic prevention and control, four bus routes were restored in Can Gio District on October 5 and another eight routes went back on stream on October 25.
However, the number of passengers along these routes has been quite low.