A ferry service linking An Giang Province with Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam will be restored starting from 7:00 am this Friday, leaving local household businesses in buoyant mood as their sales are expected to be revived.
The Vam Cong ferry service had been offering rides across the Hau River for a century, before being suspended as a bridge of the same name, some four kilometers away from the ferry terminal, was opened to traffic in 2019.
The four-year suspension has taken a toll on their sales.
“The resumption of service delights us,” Nguyen Huynh Van, owner of a grocery store near the ferry terminal located in An Giang’s Long Xuyen City, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.
This grocery store owner also recalled her good old days during which she enjoyed strong sales thanks to a high number of ferry passengers.
The presence of the Vam Cong Bridge will definitely make the ferry terminal less crowded than before, but local household businesses are still happy because they can at least earn some money, according to Van.
Tran Minh Toan, who worked as a street vendor at the ferry terminal, told the newspaper that he will go back to this job which can earn him several hundreds of Vietnamese dongs (US$1 = VND23,944).
After the ferry service was suspended, Toan had to do various jobs to make ends meet, including working as a taxi motorbike rider and bricklayer.
|Tran Minh Toan, who worked as a street vendor at the Vam Cong ferry terminal, said he was delighted at the restoration of the ferry service. Photo: Chi Hanh / Tuoi Tre|
The service restoration also cheered up commuters from Dong Thap’s Lap Vo District to An Giang, as using the ferry service helps them save more time than using the Vam Cong Bridge.
Tran Quoc Long, general director of An Giang Ferry JSC, said that staff members and infrastructure facilities are ready for the resumption.
An Giang and Dong Thap Ferry Companies will take charge of operating the service from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm every day, using three 40- and 60-metric-ton ferries.
A 100-metric-ton ferry will be put into use during periods of high demand, Long said.
Cars with over 30 seats and trucks with more than seven metric tons in capacity are not allowed to use the ferry service, he added.
The fare for a single-ride on the ferry route is VND6,000 (US$0.25) for motorcycles, VND25,000 ($1.06) for cars with no more than seven seats, VND35,000 ($1.45) for cars with 12 seats or below and pick-up trucks, VND45,000 ($1.87) for 16-seater autos and buses, and VND60,000 ($2.54) for commercial cars with 16-30 seats.
The Vam Cong Bridge was put into use on May 19, 2019, spanning over the Hau River and linking Can Tho City’s Thot Not District with Dong Thap’s Lap Vo District, with a total investment of VND5.7 trillion ($241.6 million).