Vietnam’s HCMC mulls more metro, light rail routes
The HCMC Transport Department has proposed adding more metro lines and light rail services to enhance connectivity to ports and airports.
In a proposal sent recently to the Department of Planning and Architecture, the transport department said the additional routes will help the city’s traffic network keep up with the increase in population and travel demand.
It will also boost connectivity between HCMC and the neighboring provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An, all home to many industrial parks.
The department says there should be a metro line that links localities with passenger terminals at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
It says a light rail route should be built to run alongside Ring Road No.2, one of HCMC’s major traffic infrastructure projects that started in 2017 to connect districts 2, 7, 8, 9, 12, Binh Tan, Thu Duc, Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh.
These will help ease chronic downtown traffic congestion by preventing container trucks passing through inner-city areas.
The route will also boost connectivity between the Tan Son Nhat airport and Long Thanh airports that is being built in Dong Nai Province.
The department also proposes three other light rail routes to connect with: Metro Line No. 2, which will run between districts 1 and 12; with Metro Line No.5 that will link Metro Line No.2 with Metro Line No.1, starting at Tan Binh District’s Bay Hien Interchange and ending at the Saigon Bridge; and with Metro Line No.4, which will run 35.7km through eight districts.
The department also proposes a railway network connecting container ports in Thu Duc City and along the Saigon River connecting with HCMC’s neighboring provinces.
According to a master plan for development until 2040 with vision extending to 2060, approved by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh last September, the city’s population is forecast to reach 13-14 million in 2040. It estimates the city will have 100,000-110,000 hectares for urban development during this period.
HCMC plans to build eight metro lines running a total of 220 kilometers, but none has been completed yet.