The Ho Chi Minh City administration is mulling over a postponement to the planned completion date for its bus rapid transit (BRT) project by three years, until 2023.
In a proposal submitted to the prime minister, the municipal People’s Committee sought approval to adjust the investment plan for the project, also known as the Green Transport Development Project, and push back the completion deadline by three years.
BRT route No. 1, commissioned by the Ho Chi Minh City’s Management Board of Urban Transport Construction Investment, was originally meant to be put into operation at the end of the second quarter of 2019.
The project’s estimated cost of US$143.68 million is being primarily funded using official development assistance (ODA) loans from the World Bank.
The 23-kilometer BRT line runs along Vo Van Kiet and Mai Chi Tho Avenues and is expected to help reduce traffic congestion in the southern metropolis.
Construction began in 2014 and was intended to be completed by 2019, but a series of delays have led to continued postponements.
The municipal administration now hopes to receive permission to delay the project’s completion date to 2023.
Due to Ho Chi Minh City’s urban design, consisting of vast expanses of residential housing, residents are heavily dependent on private vehicles to get around, a norm the People’s Council hopes to change through a scheme it announced in July aimed at improving public transport and limiting personal vehicles in the city.
Bus passengers have been on the decline while the number of personal vehicles, including motorbikes and cars, has soared to 8.1 million, the council said.