The State budget is tight and it is more difficult to access official development assistance (ODA) loans, while metro line projects in Ho Chi Minh City need a total investment of nearly VND210.8 trillion (US$8.5 billion).
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport on Monday reported to the municipal People’s Committee a plan to develop a metro line system in the city in association with the urban development under the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) model.
This is a new solution for metro line projects which will be invested in the near future.
Ho Chi Minh City has plans to build eight metro lines, and three tramways or monorails. These systems with a total length of 220 kilometers require an estimated investment of nearly $25 billion.
At present, the city’s first metro line, running from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City, and second metro line, linking Ben Thanh Market and Tham Luong Depot in District 12, are under construction.
In addition, the prefeasibility report for the first phase of the metro line No. 5 project from Bay Hien Intersection in Tan Binh District to the Saigon Bridge in Binh Thanh District is being appraised.
Meanwhile, investment is being called for the remaining metro line projects in the city.
According to the city’s traffic infrastructure plan and public transport enhancement plan, six metro line projects which have yet to be invested should be prioritized to be developed in the 2021-35 period.
According to the municipal Department of Transport, ODA loans are an important source of fund for major traffic infrastructure projects, including metro lines.
However, the attraction of ODA loans is not as easy as Vietnam is becoming a middle-income country.
Moreover, the management and use of ODA loans for infrastructure development involves some hindrances and shortcomings.
Therefore, the city needs to study and propose new plans to raise funds for the infrastructure development, especially plans to exploit the land banks surrounding metro stations, ring roads, and expressways in association with the urban development under the TOD model.
Under the TOD model, urban areas with a high population density will be prioritized, thereby improving the value of land within a radius of 500 meters from metro stations.
This model is a strategic financial solution to mobilize and optimize land resources to develop metro lines.
To have investment for metro line projects in the 2021-35 period, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has proposed the municipal People’s Committee assign the Department of Planning and Architecture to quickly study an urban development plan under the TOD model.
The municipal Department of Planning and Investment will study solutions and plans to raise funds for metro line projects which will be given priority for development in the 2021-35 period, with a plan to exploit land banks surrounding metro stations being included.
The municipal Department of Transport will coordinate with the relevant agencies to propose making the prefeasibility reports for some metro line projects with land lots surrounding metro stations being able to be exploited.
The 19.7-kilometer first metro line project in the city, which requires a total investment of VND43.7 trillion ($1.8 billion), is some 91.3 percent complete and is expected to be put into operation in late 2023.
Meanwhile, the city’s metro route No. 2 stretches 11.2 kilometers and requires an estimated cost of over VND47.8 trillion ($1.9 billion).
To date, an office building and ancillary works at the Tham Luong depot in District 12 have been finished.
In addition, the metro line No. 5 project was designed to be 23.4 kilometers long, running from the Saigon Bridge in Binh Thanh District to the Can Giuoc Coach Station in Binh Chanh District.
The first phase of the project needs an investment of VND38.7 trillion ($1.6 billion), while the second phase requires some $2.1 billion.
Besides the first phase of the fifth metro line project, the first phase of metro line 3a (Ben Thanh Market-Mien Tay Coach Station), the first phase of the fourth metro line (Thanh Xuan-Nguyen Van Linh), the second phase of the second metro line (Ben Thanh-Thu Thiem and Tham Luong-Tay Ninh Coach Station), metro line 3b (Cong Hoa Intersection-Hiep Binh Phuoc), and metro line 4b (Gia Dinh Park-Lang Cha Ca Intersection) will be developed in the 2021-35 period.
They will have a respective length of 10, 21, 9.1, 12.1, and 5.2 kilometers, the local media reported.