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Ho Chi Minh City eyes completing 6 metro lines spanning 183km by 2035

Ho Chi Minh City eyes completing 6 metro lines spanning 183km by 2035

Friday, June 14, 2024, 16:46 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City eyes completing 6 metro lines spanning 183km by 2035
A train on Ho Chi Minh City’s metro line No. 1 during a test run. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City has set a target to complete six metro lines running a combined length of 183 kilometers by 2035, according to a draft plan announced by director of the municipal Department of Transport Tran Quang Lam at a conference of the municipal Party Committee on Thursday.

The draft plan on adjustments to the city’s general planning by 2040 with a vision for 2060 shows that the city seeks to develop 10 metro routes spanning some 510 kilometers and two tramways stretching a combined 70 kilometers by 2040.

Urban railways are considered the backbone of Ho Chi Minh City’s traffic infrastructure system and are crucial to the city’s fast and sustainable socio-economic development strategies, according to the draft plan.

The city plans to develop metro lines that align with its goals for urban growth, environmental protection, increased industrialization and modernization, and the connectivity of regions.

The six planned metro lines will transport 40-50 percent of commuters and meet the demand of seven to eight million passengers per day, as per the draft plan.

The projects are estimated to cost approximately VND871 trillion (US$36.33 billion) and will source funds primarily from the state budget.

The city has also proposed 28 policies that it believes would allow it to reach the target, including 17 policies under the jurisdiction of the lawmaking National Assembly and 11 others to be issued by the national government.

The draft plan features a road map to develop urban railways and train local stakeholders.

In particular, Ho Chi Minh City will receive urban railway technologies from 2035 to achieve a localization rate of 30-40 percent and intensify the development of the metallurgy sector to manufacture P50 rails for railway depots.

As for the information and signal systems, the city looks to develop its own software and study the production of hardware and accessories.

Regarding manpower, the city will enhance cooperation with ministries and agencies in order to develop its workforce. It also has plans to strengthen international collaboration in order to study and apply urban railway technologies.

Ho Chi Minh City set a target to complete six metro line projects with a combined length of 183 kilometers by 2035. Graphic: Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport

Ho Chi Minh City has set a target to complete six metro line projects with a combined length of 183 kilometers by 2035. Graphic: Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport

Slow going

According to the city’s approved transport development plan by 2020 with a vision for the following years, Ho Chi Minh City planned to build eight metro lines with a total length of 172.6 kilometers and three tramways or monorails stretching a total of 56.5 kilometers. 

The city aimed to complete two to three metro lines, specifically metro line numbers 1, 2, and 5, by 2020.

However, the city has yet to complete metro line No. 1 and expects to put it into operation this year. The planned completion time of the second metro line is currently 2030.

Thus, the execution pace of metro line projects in the southern metropolis is slow and falls short of commuter demands.

Over $36 billion needed for 6 metro line projects by 2035

Speaking at the conference, Phan Van Mai, the chairman of the administration of Ho Chi Minh City, stated that the VND871 trillion ($36.33 billion) required for the six metro line projects by 2035 is a substantial amount.

“I visited Busan [in South Korea] and they said [revenue can be] collected from tickets, land use, and advertising," Mai said.

“Revenue can account for 40-50 percent [of the costs] and the state budget must cover the rest

“South Korea has policies to offset a deficit."

He noted that it would not too hard for Ho Chi Minh City to mobilize some $36 billion over 10 years if proper policies were enacted.

The city can raise capital from urban bonds or remittances. It receives some $8-9 billion in remittances per year.

Mai cited large banks as saying that if Ho Chi Minh City issues urban bonds with interest rates equal to or higher than those of government bonds, they can mobilize $3 billion a year.

The city is completing a plan to adopt the transit-oriented development model to submit it to the standing board of the municipal Party Committee this month, he added.

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Thanh Ha - Duc Phu - Thao Le - Tien Long / Tuoi Tre News

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