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Provinces seek extension of HCM City’s metro line

Update: April, 20/2016 - 09:00
Bình Dương is seeking extension of HCM City’s first metro route from Bến Thành to Suối Tiên so that it can reach the province’s Mỹ Phước-Tân Vạn Road. — Photo

HCM CITY — After Đồng Nai Province, it is now the turn of Bình Dương to seek extension of HCM City’s first metro route from Bến Thành to Suối Tiên so that it can reach the province’s Mỹ Phước-Tân Vạn Road.

The province has sought Ministry of Transport approval, saying the 1.8km extension -- from HCM City’s Suối Tiên station to the Tân Vạn T-junction -- would help attract local and overseas investors to the province and develop new urban areas along the route.

If the metro route is extended to Bình Dương it would create favourable conditions to develop HCM City, Biên Hòa and Bình Dương New City, it said.

In January Đồng Nai Province had asked the ministry to extend the route by 4.7km to the Vũng Tàu intersection in Biên Hòa city.

Đồng Nai People’s Commitee deputy chairman Trần Văn Vinh told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that extending the route makes sense since Đồng Nai is located near HCM City’s eastern entrance and connects it with the northern and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) regions.

“The province also has 29 industrial parks, which attract a large number of workers and experts who live in HCM City and regularly travel between the two localities, thus causing heavy traffic and jams.

“The extension of the first metro route … will significantly ease the traffic jams at the eastern gate way of HCM City.

“The change would also improve the metro’s efficiency and create an impetus for economic development in the area.”

Though the ministry has yet to reply in detail to the two provinces’extension proposals, they have begun to make preparations.

Đồng Nai authorities said land for laying the tracks and building the station across from the Biên Hòa 2 Industrial Park has been arranged.

According to Bình Dương authorities, a considerable amount of money has been earmarked to build the Mỹ Phước-Tân Vạn Road and develop public transport along the road.

Nguyễn Văn Hùng, general director of the province-owned Becamex IDI Corporation, said the province is building the 26.5km road linking the Mỹ Phước Urban Area and Industrial Park with HCM City’s Hà Nội Express Highway.

Once finished, the road will reduce the time needed to transport goods from the province and HCM City to deep water ports in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province 

The construction is also part of preparations for connecting Bình Dương with the metro for the benefit of commuters. Besides, the Bình Dương authorities have done the spadework to get funds from Japanese official development assistance (ODA) for construction of a metro route to HCM City in future.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Ngọc Đồng said, “The transport ministry advocates the extension of the Bến Thành-Suối Tiên metro route to the two provinces since it is also part of HCM City’s plans to develop urban metro systems to connect the city with satellite cities like Biên Hòa.

“Đồng Nai and Bình Dương have to work with HCM City to make specific plans to extend the metro route to the two provinces. The transport ministry will instruct consulting units to assess the plan.”

Many government and independent experts have stressed the need to extend the metro route to Đồng Nai and Bình  Dương, but call for careful studies first.

The metro project was first proposed in 2001 as part of a comprehensive public transport network plan for HCM City and neighbouring provinces with the aim of easing traffic congestion.

It also includes three monorail lines with a total length of 37km and six metro routes running 107km -- Bến Thành-Suối Tiên, Bến Thành-Tham Lương, Bến Thành- Bình Tân, Lăng Cha Cả-Văn Thánh, and Thủ Thiêm-Cần Giuộc.

Bến Thành will be a hub connecting most of the routes.

The first metro and its underground stations near the Opera House and Bến Thành Market in District 1 are under construction. — VNS

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