|An elevated section of the city’s first metro line along Hà Nội Highway in HCM City’s District 2. The city recently approved the extension of the line to the neighbouring provinces of Bình Dương and Đồng Nai. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
HCM CITY — HCM City has approved the extension of the city’s first metro route, which links Bến Thành Market with Suối Tiên Theme Park in District 9, to the neighbouring provinces of Bình Dương and Đồng Nai.
The metro line will extend to Đồng Nai Province’s Biên Hòa city and Bình Dương Province’s Dĩ An Town as proposed by Japanese consultant joint-venture Nippon Koei – Tokyu.
The cost of extending the line will be VNĐ21.23 trillion (nearly US$950 million), including VNĐ2.32 trillion ($103 million) for the section from the Suối Tiên Station to Bình Dương Station.
Trần Thanh Liêm, chairman of the Bình Dương People’s Committee, said the extension would create favourable conditions urban development and public transportation.
Along with preparations for the metro extension, Bình Dương has also earmarked land along the planned metro line for new urban areas under the TOD (transit-oriented development) mode.
Đồng Nai and Bình Dương provincial people’s committees have also agreed to the project, which is in line with the city’s transport development plan to 2020, approved by the Prime Minister.
The extended metro line will ease travel in the two provinces and HCM City, attract more passengers and enhance urban development along the route, reducing traffic overload in the northeastern part of HCM City.
HCM City will work with agencies in the two provinces to develop the project and put it into operation on schedule.
HCM City’s metro route No 1 connects Bến Thành Terminal in District 1 with Suối Tiên Terminal in District 9.
The metro line will have 19.7km of track, of which 2.6km will be underground (with three stations) and over 17km above ground (with 11 stations).
Construction began in August, 2012, with the line expected to open in 2020.
After years of delays due to numerous adjustments, the cost of the project has risen to more than VNĐ47 trillion ($2.49 billion), according to the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways. — VNS