Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee this morning held a groundbreaking ceremony for the US$2.4 billion Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro project, the first of its kind in the country. The metro system is expected to be 19.7 km long, including 2.6 km underground in District 1 with 3 terminals and 17.1 km above ground with 11 terminals in other places. The metro line will run through District 1, Binh Thanh District, District 2, District 9, and Thu Duc District in HCMC before reaching Di An Town in Binh Duong Province. The project’s investment capital is estimated at VND48 trillion ($2.4 billion), most of which is sourced from Japanese ODA, and the rest from the State budget. The metro system is expected to be completed in 2017 and put into operation one year later. Upon completion, the metro route can transport 186,000 passengers a day and the figure will increase to 620,000 by 2020 and 1 million by 2040, said Nguyen Do Luong, head of the city HCMC Urban Railway Management Board.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Vietnam's first metro project in HCMC (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
The travel time on the entire route is 30 minutes and trains will depart at five-minute intervals.
By the year’s end, a second metro system will also be built to link Ben Thanh and An Suong, with a length of 20 km. It is also scheduled to be completed in 2017 and will cost about $1.37 billion, Luong said. The building of the metro line marks a milestone in the modernization of the city’s public traffic system, contributing to boosting the city’s economic growth and reducing environmental pollution, city People’s Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said at the ceremony. Transport Minister Dinh La Thang said he hoped the first metro line will rank first in all construction works in the country in terms of quality, progress and safety, so that it can become a good symbol of the friendship and the strategic relation between Vietnam and Japan.
Attendants of the groundbreaking ceremony look at the layouts of the first metro system in Vietnam (Photo: Tuoi Tre)