Making news

HCM City to get electric bus rapid transit system

Three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed on June 7 in HCM City for setting up an electric BRT (bus rapid transit) system.

DATAM Technology Company signed one with ALG Systems for LED streetlight technology and the Republic of Korea's Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) for research and development of a pilot plan for operating electric BRT smart buses.

A second was inked between the National Space Science Council (NSSC), DATAM, GBC Smart City Corp, and ALG Systems for supporting research and technology transfer.

The Vietnam News Agency signed one with DATAM and GBC Smart City Corporation for communication to help solicit investment and implementation of the project.

The BRT Smart Bus project is expected to cost around 525 million USD, with the funding coming from the Green Climate Fund.

It plans to spend 300 million USD on producing 20,000 electric buses, and 225 million USD for installing solar-powered LED lights, a camera system using artificial intelligence and free Wifi.

James Lee, chairman of DATAM, one of the investors, said, “The project will contribute to making HCM City an environment-friendly and green city.”

With technology transfer for electric bus production from DATAM, HCM City can produce electric BRT buses which will cost 20 percent less than normal buses.

That will create a new industry, provide jobs and enable exports to Southeast Asian countries.

A medium-sized electric BRT bus measuring 1.49m wide will only need a 1.5m lane, or just 60 percent of the current bus lane.

Each of the buses will have 17 seats including one each for the driver and disabled people.

The buses are planned to run every minute.
They will be equipped with a CRM data monitoring system and use smart cards for payment.

Tran Chi Trung, head of the Public Transport Management Centre, said though the city was investing a lot in infrastructure it was unable to keep pace with the rate of urbanization and demand for transport.

According to the official, the severe congestion on its roads causes losses estimated at 1.5 billion USD a year.

The public transport system comprises 3,000 buses operating on 152 routes, and meeting only 9.5 percent of demand. It is estimated the city needs a fleet of around 21,000 buses.

“An electric BRT bus system is an effective solution for reducing pollution,” Trung said.

Emissions from vehicles account for some 70 percent of the city's pollution.