HCMC submits plans for new $2.9 billion metro line

By Huu Cong   May 6, 2020 | 04:00 pm PT
HCMC submits plans for new $2.9 billion metro line
An elevated section of the Metro Line 1 in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC authorities have submitted plans for a 20-kilometer-long metro line costing VND68 trillion ($2.9 billion) to the Ministry of Planning and Investment for consideration.

This is one of eight metro projects approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to improve the city’s public transportation system and ease traffic congestion in Vietnam’s largest metropolis, home to 13 million people including migrants.

Once completed, the metro line, No.3A, will connect with the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line 1 to form a public transport route that runs through the city, connecting its northeastern and southwestern regions.

Metro line No.3A will connect Ben Thanh station in District 1 and Tan Kien Ward in Binh Chanh District with a total of 18 stations. It will be built in two phases. Phase one will build the 9.7 kilometer stretch from Ben Thanh Market to the Mien Tay bus terminal. Work on phase 1 is expected to start in 2025 and be completed in 2031.

Work on phase two, from the Mien Tay bus station to Tan Kien, more than 10 kilometers long, is scheduled to begin in 2028 and finish in 2034. Nearly half of the metro line will be underground.

The city's first metro line was approved in 2007 at a cost of VND17.4 trillion ($747 million). It runs 20 kilometers (12 miles) through the city's 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc districts, and the neighboring Binh Duong Province's Di An District.

Last November, the National Assembly allowed city authorities to approve a new cost estimate of VND43.6 trillion ($1.87 billion) after design changes and a strengthening of the Japanese yen increased prices. The line is now 72 percent complete. By the end of this year, it is expected to reach 85 percent, and go fully operational by the end of 2021.

HCMC plans to boost its public transport system with six major metro lines, and a couple of tramway and monorail routes with total length of 220 kilometers and total investment of up to $25 billion.

The southern metropolis has been struggling for years with worsening traffic congestion alongside an exponential increase in the number of private vehicles. The city has more than 825,000 cars and 8.1 million motorbikes.

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