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As Hanoi Gets New Buses, Saigon Ridership Plummets

Not long after Saigon debuted its flashy new airport bus, Hanoi is also planning to introduce a series of bus routes connecting Noi Bai International Airport with the downtown area.

Officials in the capital recently approved a three-year trial plan to provide bus services from Noi Bai to three destinations in the city: Hoang Cau Street in Dong Da District, Thong Nhat Park and Nuoc Ngam Bus Station in Hoang Mai District, reports Thanh Nien.

Tickets will cost VND40,000 – a jump from the current VND7,000 – VND9,000 fare – but will include the same accoutrements as their southern counterparts, such as English-speaking staff, new facilities and ample storage space for luggage.

While the bus routes are great news for travelers in both the northern and southern hubs, Saigon's other public transport vehicles are quickly losing riders, as the city's outdated buses have turned off some public transportation users. According to another Thanh Nien report, Saigon's bus ridership dropped 5.6% in the first three months of this year, a disappointing sign after the city lost 12% of its riders last year, or 324 million fares.

Still, however, the city remains committed to diversifying its public transportation options, introducing new airport buses as well as eco-friendly compressed natural gas vehicles. By 2020, Saigon aims to serve 1 million riders a day.

Meanwhile, Hanoi, too, is jazzing up its public transport options with a multi-million-dollar bus rapit transit network, which will be up and running by the end of 2016.

[Photo via unci_narynin]

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