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Hanoi Launches First-Ever Natural Gas-Powered Buses

Two bus routes, set up by Bao Yen Tourism, will run entirely on compressed natural gas (CNG). They officially opened in Hanoi on August 1, with a third route beginning August 9.

While the first two routes will run between My Dinh and Son Tay bus stations and the area near Nhat Tan Bridge to Times City, the third will run from Yen Nghia bus station to Dang Xa urban area, Hanoi Times reports.

CNG primarily consists of methane and can thus be burned, said Thai Ho Phuong, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Urban Transport Management and Control. Although burning methane releases carbon dioxide, it is far less harmful for the environment than releasing pure methane.

Besides being less harmful to the environment and human health, CNG is also safer to transport as it is less flammable at lower percentages. It is also 10–30% cheaper than other types of fuel, making it more economical to use.

After riding the CNG-powered bus, Hanoian passenger Nguyen Thi Thu Huong told VTC, “It is cool, smells very nice, and goes really smoothly. It also has free Wi-Fi, which sets it apart from traditional buses.”

The buses operate from 5am to 8:30–9pm, and waiting intervals range from 15 to 20 minutes. Each ticket costs between VND8,000 (US$0.34) and VND9,000 (US$0.39).

Far from being the first use of biogas in Vietnam, the buses are part of a slow shift towards more environmentally-friendly fuel sources, with 170,000 households around Vietnam now using biodigesters to create biogas for use as cooking fuel.

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