Saigon's first metro line in the making: a closer look

By Duy Tran   July 26, 2016 | 11:18 pm PT
Saigon's first metro line in the making: a closer look
The Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien line will open three years ahead of schedule.

Construction of Ho Chi Minh City's first metro line linking Ben Thanh and Suoi Tien started in December 2013 in District 9.


It will run underground from Ben Thanh Market for 2.6 km past the Opera House and Ba Son Shipyard, and then cross the Saigon River on an elevated track, passing through District 2 on the way to Suoi Tien Park and the terminus at Long Binh in District 9.


Line 1 will have 14 stations, three of them underground (Ben Thanh, the Opera House and Ba Son).


During the first phases of the project, the city struggled to clear land for the 19.7km line, that passes through crucial areas of the southern metropolis.


The 150-year-old Ba Son Shipyard, Saigon’s oldest and most important maritime heritage site, has recently been demolished to make space for one of the metro stations as well as financial buildings and luxury hotels.


With investment $1.1 billion, planners expect the route to serve more than 160,000 passengers per day when it opens, increasing to 635,000 by 2030 and 800,000 by 2040.


The subway promises to cut travel time from District 9 to the city center by at least half, drawing foreign investors and real estate development to the suburbs.


According to the city's Management Authority for Urban Railways, the first metro line will be put into use in 2018, three years ahead of schedule.

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