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Saigon Unveils Plans for River Bus Service

In yet another effort to ease traffic congestion on Saigon's choked streets, local officials recently announced a plan for the city's first river bus service.

According to the Saigon Times, senior municipal transport official Phan Cong Bang said the first river bus route will link District 1's Bach Dang Wharf to Thu Duc District, roughly 11 kilometers away. The service will be launched in June of this year.

Another route connecting Bach Dang to District 8 via Saigon's inner-city canals will begin in September. City officials and investors are currently devising a route which would be able to operate without disrupting the ongoing construction of a sluice along Ben Nghe Canal, the news source reports. 

Tickets for the new service are expected to cost VND15,000. A company called Thuong Nhat will operate the routes, utilizing 10 boats in the first phase, each capable of holding up to 60 passengers. Eventually, the two services will be able to transport 5,000 passengers per day.

The introduction of river bus services are part of the city's attempt to make better use of its extensive network of waterways. According to VnExpress, last year local officials suggested creating a floating market to attract tourists, while Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the city transport department, has called for the development of waterway transport for both people and cargo. 

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