The HCMC Department of Transport has proposed the municipal government pause a plan to develop the bus rapid transit (BRT) project until relevant traffic infrastructure projects are completed.
|A commuter bus picks up passengers at the Ben Thanh Bus Station in HCMC’s District 1. – SGT Photo: Anh Quan|
The municipal department said in its dispatch sent to the HCMC government on November 19 on reviewing the city’s green traffic development project that some contents which have a big impact on the safety and effectiveness of the BRT project have yet to be thoroughly assessed in the current period.
Since 2020, the Covid pandemic has taken a heavy toll on public transport, slowing down work on many traffic infrastructure and public transport development projects, expected to affect the effectiveness of the BRT project after it is put into operation.
As such, the BRT line will find it hard to serve up to 28,086 passengers each day by 2022 as targeted, as the city’s first metro line, which stretches from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Park in Thu Duc City, is not complete, hindering the movement between the Rach Chiec Station and the Cho Lon and An Lac bus stations.
In addition, the package of restructuring HCMC’s bus route network has yet to be completed.
When work on the New Mien Tay Coach Station project starts remains undetermined, while the first phase of the New Mien Dong Coach Station has been put into operation, thereby seeing few passengers.
Due to the obstacles, the effectiveness of the BRT line will fall short of expectations if the project is invested in and put into service, according to the department.
The 26-kilometer BRT line project, which will run along Vo Van Kiet and Mai Chi Tho boulevards, will start at the An Lac Roundabout in Binh Tan District and end at the Rach Chiec Bridge in Thu Duc City. Once in place, it will be connected to the city’s first metro line and the new Mien Tay Coach Station in Binh Chanh District.
The BRT line project will require a total cost of US$143 million, including over US$121.2 million sourced from loans from the World Bank and the rest from the city’s reciprocal capital. The project is set to be completed in 2022.
Work on the first bus rapid transit (BRT) project in HCMC is expected to kick off in early 2022 and put into operation in 2023, according to the HCMC Transportation Works Construction Investment Project Management Authority.
The bus rapid transit (BRT) route No. 1 that runs along Vo Van Kiet - Mai Chi Tho Boulevard is expected to be opened to the public in late 2022. The investment in this bus route is about $3 million per 1km.