Traffic drives Ho Chi Minh City to invest nearly $400mln on second monorail line

By    July 6, 2016 | 12:36 am PT
The densely populated city has decided that the sky is no longer the limit when it comes to relieving traffic congestion.

Vietnam’s southern business hub Ho Chi Minh City plans to invest VND 8.4 trillion ($377 million) into building a second monorail connecting Go Vap District with District 12, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The city’s authorities said building a monorail system would preempt traffic congestion spurred by rapid growth in automobile ownership.

Automobile ownership is growing at 20 percent annually, more than twice the rate of motorcycle ownership, said the Asian Development Bank.

Ho Chi Minh City is headed towards a population of 10 million people by 2020, according to the World Bank.

The monorail lines, or elevated single-rail tracks, can be built on road dividers and are especially cost-effective because they cost one-sixth of the price of an underground railway system and are cheaper to maintain, according to industry experts.

With the number of vehicles growing at an average annual rate of 10 percent in major cities and road space at only 2 percent, Vietnam’s urban areas, including Ho Chi Minh City, are on course for crippling gridlock if they don’t adopt light transit.

Ho Chi Minh City now has 7.43 million motorcycles, which have put mounting pressure on its weakly developed transport infrastructure.

The project is subject to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s approval.

The construction work, starting in 2019, is expected to take five years, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The city will choose investors through an international tender.

Under Ho Chi Minh City's revised master plan for transport to 2020 approved by the Vietnamese government, the city will have eight metro lines, six bus rapid transit routes and three monorail lines.

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