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Ho Chi Minh City cooperative launches enviro-friendly bus route

Wednesday, March 02, 2016, 15:29 GMT+7

A Ho Chi Minh City-based transport cooperative launched an environment-friendly bus route on Tuesday, adding 23 buses that run on compressed natural gas to its fleet.

A ceremony was held yesterday by the Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation to hand over 23 CNG-fuelled buses to the ‘May 19’ Bus Transport Cooperative.

Saigon Cooperative Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO) is a state-owned enterprise, with its main operations involving the production of transport mechanical products and the provision of high-quality transport services.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is methane stored at high pressure, which is used as an alternative fuel for gasoline, diesel, or propane. CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than those mentioned above.

The buses are SAMCO’s first shipment of a 300-bus purchase by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, said Tran Quoc Toan, general director at SAMCO.

They are also the flagships of environmentally friendly vehicles suitable for public transport in such metropolises like Ho Chi Minh City, Toan added.

These buses will join the existing fleet of bus route 33, which shuttles between An Suong Station in Hoc Mon District and the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in Thu Duc District, making the whole fleet of 52 buses 100 percent environmentally-friendly.

Nguyen Van Trieu, director at ‘May 19’ Bus Transport Cooperative, said VND63 billion (US$2.8 million) was spent on these buses, coming from investments by its members.

The operations of bus route 33 and others have helped around 30,000 students, professors, and employees at the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City commute for study and work, vice president of the university Huynh Thanh Dat said at the ceremony.

The building plan of the university includes two public bus stations within its campus, each covering an area of 1ha, ready for bus routes accessing the university, Dat said.

An investment plan is also underway to replace 1,318 old buses bought 13 years ago with 1,680 new ones, said deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City’s transport department Le Hoang Minh.

Minh also mentioned the need to improve the on-bus passenger service, especially concerning the behaviors of bus drivers and attendants, alongside the use of CNG buses.

The public’s satisfaction level with public transport will increase accordingly with these measures, Minh concluded.

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