Last update: 06:40 | 15/11/2017
HCMC has put forth a plan to build Metro Line No.3A from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Tan Kien in Binh Chanh District that together with the Metro Line No.1 will connect the western, central and eastern parts of the city.
Metro Line No.3A linked with Metro Line No.1 from Ben Thanh Market to Suoi Tien Park, which is now under construction, will form a metro network that connects two major bus stations of the city, Mien Dong in the east and Mien Tay in the west, and passes through central districts.
Planned to be up and running in 2026, Metro Line No.3A will help ease congestion in the western part of the city, reduce traffic accidents and vehicle emissions, and boost the socio-economic development of the city.
The project will be divided into two phases. Phase one will stretch from Ben Thanh Market to Mien Tay bus station, with a total length of 9.7 kilometers. Phase two from Mien Tay bus station to Tan Kien will be more than 10 kilometers long. Nearly half of the metro line will go underground.
According to a report sent by the HCMC government to the Ministry of Planning and Investment on November 10, the project requires a total investment of about VND62 trillion (US$2.73 billion), or more than US$110 million per kilometer.
Compared to other metro projects, like Metro Line No.1 costing US$97 million per kilometer and metro lines in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong with US$103-345 million per kilometer, the estimated cost of Metro Line No.3A is credible.
It is estimated that only 11.3% of HCMC residents will use public transport, including metro, buses and taxi cabs, by 2030, while the remainder will mainly travel by private vehicles like motorbikes and cars.
Investment in the metro system is aimed at discouraging the use of private vehicles, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.
Three electric car routes proposed to serve river bus passengers
In another development on public transport, the HCMC Department of Transport has proposed the municipal government open three electric car routes to transfer passengers of river bus services which will be launched this month.
The department last week wrote to the municipal government asking for permission to open an electric car service in the downtown and two others in District 2.
The first route will start at Bach Dang Wharf, running along Hai Ba Trung, Dong Du, Mac Thi Buoi, Lam Son Square, Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Le Thanh Ton, Pham Hong Thai, Pham Ngu Lao, Yersin, and Tran Hung Dao, and then back to Pham Ngu Lao, Pho Duc Chinh, Nguyen Cong Tru, Ton That Dam, Vo Van Kiet, Nguyen Thai Binh, Ton Duc Thang, Nguyen Hue and Me Linh Square before coming back to Bach Dang Wharf.
The route will pass through famous destinations in the city such as Ben Thanh Market, the Opera House, Nguyen Hue pedestrian square and some large hotels.
The second route will depart from Binh An Wharf, running on Street No. 20, Tran Nao, a road in parallel with Hanoi Highway, Mai Chi Tho, Dong Tay, Street No. 24, then come back to the parallel road on Hanoi Highway, Tran Nao and Street No. 20, and ends at Binh An Wharf.
Route No. 3 is planned to carry passengers from Thao Dien Station, going through Street No. 66, Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, Xuan Thuy, Nguyen Van Huong, Street No. 66 and come back to Thao Dien Station.
The department suggested using ten electric cars with eight to 14 seats each on these routes from 5 a.m. to 22 p.m. every day.
Since early this year, HCMC has piloted three electric car routes in the city center and Phu My Hung area in District 7. These vehicles serve 800 to 1,000 passengers a day.
The department said electric car routes connecting road and waterway transport services would help ease traffic congestion in the city. The first river bus route in the city linking Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 and Linh Dong Ward in Thu Duc District with a total length of 10.8 kilometers is expected to be put into service this month.