HCMC advised to double length of metro network

By Ha Giang   April 10, 2024 | 11:28 pm PT
HCMC advised to double length of metro network
A train of HCMC's metro line No.1 conducts a test run in 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
HCMC needs to amend its metro development plans to have 10 lines running more than 500 km, the city Department of Transport has quoted an unidentified "consultancy" as saying.

It said Wednesday that the consultancy wants the city to have eight lines in its inner areas and two in its suburbs with a combined length of 511 km.

The consultancy comprises several companies from whom the department has sought free advice on the metro system development.

The current metro development plan, announced in 2003, envisages building eight metro lines with 220 km at a cost of $25 billion.

The consultancy proposed three options for executing the revised plan: simultaneously building the entire network at an estimated cost of US$50 billion, ensuring that by 2045 the city has 10 operational routes, building six lines first with 303 km at $25 billion by 2045 or building three lines with 180 km at first and partially starting work on three others.

The Communist Party Politburo decided in February that "HCMC must basically complete eight metro lines running more than 200 km by 2035."

None are operational yet.

Work started in 2008 on the 19.7-km line number 1 between District 1 and what is now Thu Duc City.

After multiple delays its latest deadline for commercial operations is July 2024.

At a meeting in February HCMC chairman Phan Van Mai said the city could easily afford several billion dollars a year for building a metro network but needs clear financial policies for that.

"We are not asking the central government for hundreds or thousands of billions of dong; we are [only] asking for policies for the city to execute the projects itself."

Of the routes approved two decades ago only two, Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien and Ben Thanh – Tham Luong, are under construction and use ODA funding.

The investment plans for the others have yet to be finalized.

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