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Saigon to Expand Its Bus Advertising Scheme

After a successful trial run, Saigon will expand its bus advertising program to include all 136 routes around the city.

According to Vietnam News, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport plans to put advertisements on every Saigon Bus route in the city. Following the eight-month pilot program launched earlier this year, in which advertising was sold on the side of buses traveling 10 downtown routes, city officials have submitted a proposal to keep the scheme going.

Deputy Director Le Hoang Minh of the transport department told Vietnam News his agency has asked the municipal People’s Committee to expand the program to include all bus routes.

“If approved, all the remaining subsidized buses (1,986) will have ads on them, which would bring in more than VND113 billion (US$4.98 million) in revenue every year,” Minh told the news outlet.

Twenty-seven companies participated in the initial advertising plan, which featured products such as cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals, and brought in total revenue of VND14.6 billion (US$643,600).

If Deputy Director Minh’s scheme gets the green light, the Department of Transport would like to see more tourism and industrial advertising on the sides of buses.

As for the money involved, city officials will collect the revenue from advertisements features on subsidized bus routes, while other bus routes will be free to keep their income to support routine maintenance costs and reduce dependence on government funding.

However bus advertising is not without its challenges: city officials have also complained that aging vehicles make it difficult to execute proper advertising, while Deputy Director Minh also believes a separate agency needs to be established to manage and supervise this new advertising scheme.

The expected cost of bus advertising moving forward is around VND33-50 million (US$1,454-2,204) per square meter, allowing city officials to bring in as much as VND100 billion (US$4.4 million) a year by selling ad space on its 3,200 buses.

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