City center route expected to start in June.
Ho Chi Minh City's first electric buses are expected to start operating in June, pending approval from the City's People's Committee.
In the short-term they will serve travelers in the city center, with the aim of reducing the number of vehicles in the area in the long term. The route runs between 23/9 Park and the Botanical Gardens (Thao Cam Vien), with 29 stops along the way on streets such as Ton Duc Thang, Nguyen Hue, Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan.
Initially the buses will operate from 6am to 6pm daily at a frequency of ten minutes. Later, when the line is extended and connected to underground parking stations such as Le Van Tam or Tao Dan, it will operate 24 hours a day.
Ho Chi Minh City will put ten buses with 12 seats into operation at first (plus a reserve vehicle). The vehicles can travel at a maximum speed of 30 km/h and cover 70 kilometers on one full electric charge. The total investment for the buses is about VND4 billion ($184,600), including VND3.5 billion ($161.525) for the vehicles and remaining VND500 million ($23,075) for associated infrastructure.
Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Transport has proposed a ticket regime, with a ticket for half the line (15 stations) or less being VND6,000 ($0.25) and VND10,000 ($0.46) for longer trips.
There will also be four-hour tickets and all-day tickets, at VND40,000 ($1.80) and VN120,000 ($5.50), respectively. Passengers who travel in groups can rent a bus for VND100,000 ($4.60) per hour.
After being approved by, the buses will be officially put into operation with the proposed price. It is expected to be put into operation from June 2015.