Ho Chi Minh City launched its first electric bus line with 67 seats from Thu Duc to District 1 on Tuesday morning, with around 94 rides a day.
The D4 electric bus line, connecting Vinhomes Grand Park in Thu Duc City and Saigon Bus Station in District 1, operates from 5 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. daily, with each ride around 20 minutes apart. The line has 12 buses, each with 67 seats and equipped with cameras, wifi and other utilities.
Nguyen Van Thanh, vice director of Vinbus Ecology Transport Services, which operates the project, said the bus system could “automatically manage driver behavior” and issue safety warnings.
Ticket prices range from VND3,000 (13 cents) for students to VND7,000 for other passengers.
The D4 electric bus line is the first among five large electric bus lines to be trialed in HCMC. The other four lines would run from Vinhomes Grand Park to Emart Mall, Tan Son Nhat Internatioanal Airport, Saigon Bus Station, New Mien Dong Station and Vietnam National University.
The other lines are expected to be launched in the third and fourth quarters this year.
Tran Quang Lam, director of the municipal Department of Transport, said the southern city would complete electric ticket systems to integrate all forms of transport including metros and buses in future.
HCMC currently has 126 bus lines. It has already trialed electric bus lines in the past, but they were only limited to 15 seats and operated in downtown areas, District 7 and Can Gio District, mostly for tourists.
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