VnExpress News – The HCM City Department of Transport will invite bids for operating 90 subsidised bus routes to improve their quality and efficiency.
The city currently has 129 bus routes with 2,261 vehicles, with the remaining 37 being non-subsidised.
Võ Khánh Hưng, deputy director of the Department of Transport, said all bus co-operatives in the city are facing losses because business is unstable and the subsidies are not enough to cover expenses.
Passenger numbers fell from 302 million in 2012 to 255 million in 2019, and plummeted to 148 million last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The department is considering incentives to improve the quality of bus services.
At the beginning of this month a company won a bid to operate routes 1, 15, 65, and 152, and can deploy 42 buses.
According to Lê Hoàng, deputy director of the Public Transport Management and Operation Centre, the winning bidder can operate the routes for five years.
The tender process is aimed at reducing the subsidies and improving the quality of service to attract more passengers, according to the centre.
Hưng said the city is now in the process of inviting bids for route Nos 4 and 43.
The city targets doing this for all subsidised routes by 2023.
It has shelled out around VNĐ1 trillion (US$43 million) a year on subsidies since 2012, but the amount has been insufficient.
Since late 2018 it has repeatedly suspended the operation of buses on various routes because of lack of passengers. – VnExpress News