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[Video] Saigon to Complete Flashy New BRT System by 2018

Saigon is hitting the public transportation hard these days, with new metro construction starting along Ton Duc Thang and talks of a 12-kilometer tramway recently announced.


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In addition to these rail-based transportation systems, Vietnam News reports, city officials have also received a US$124 million World Bank loan for the construction of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which is expected to become operational by 2018.

Saigon's fancy new BRT network will begin with a single line running from An Lac in Binh Chanh District along Vo Van Kiet and Mai Chi Tho highways to District 2. Though it will eventually expand to a six-line system, the initial route will feature 28 stations over 23 kilometers as well as 17 pedestrian overpasses, eight parking lots, sidewalks and public parks, reports REIC. Once completed, the BRT aims to serve 28,300 passengers a day.

The US$137.45 million project will be largely financed by the World Bank loan, with the Vietnamese government contributing the remaining US$13.45 million. The World Bank money will also finance a set of 28 buses which run on compressed natural gas, an eco-friendly alternative to the city's current 3,000-strong bus fleet.

With traffic congestion steadily increasing, Saigon officials have shown a renewed interest in improving the city's public transportation system, as the current bus system serves only 5.4% of the local transportation demand. By implementing the new BRT project – along with the metro line and possible tramway network – the city aims to boost public transportation usage in urban areas to as much as 30% or more by 2025.

In future, Saigon's ultimate goal is a unified public system with several different modes of transport, including metro, bus lines, BRT and more.

For more information on the splashy new BRT, check out the video below:

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