Saigon 1st metro line completion pushed back to 2022

Ho bỏ ra Minh city is currently constructing its first metro line. Following on from the 2020 construction update, here is the Ho chi Minh thành phố Metro 2021 construction update.

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Line 1

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Line 1 has been making slow progress, with the latest revised opening date phối for the end of 2022. It has been another tumultuous year, with COVID-19, construction controversies, and ongoing difficulties with funding adding to the delayed opening time.

The Pandemic

Since the last update in 2020, the project has had to giảm giá with delays due khổng lồ the pandemic. Specialist workers were delayed in returning, và had lớn quarantine before resuming work. While Vietnam was able to lớn keep the virus out of the country for most of 2020, the delta variant broke through và has caused havoc in HCMC in 2021. The thành phố went into hard lockdown on 9 July, but this didn’t bring down the infection numbers as hoped. The city then went into a military-enforced stay trang chủ lockdown on 23 August. This will surely showroom more delays on vị trí cao nhất of the already delayed project.

Construction Issues

At the end of 2020 it was reported that that cracks had appeared in a beam where a tư vấn pad had fallen off.

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In January another tư vấn pad had moved. One report mentioned that the steel used in the beam support falls short of contracted quality. An investigation found that there were pads that were lighter than the required standard, which may have caused the cracks.

An independent consultant was asked to lớn investigate the beam faults, và more faults were later found.

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This latest complication could delay the metro opening further, which has not been factored into the latest estimated opening time.

Meanwhile, red tape continues lớn be an issue, with the many layers of governance that capital must pass through being described as “obstacles in administrative procedures”.

Train oto Delivery

On the 8th of October, the first three of 51 Japanese-made cars arrived at the port in District 4. They were then transported by road overnight to the depot in District 9 (now known as Thu Duc City).

The carriages have been delivered one ship at a time, with the most recent delivery of six carriages on July 13.

Prices và Ticketing

The HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has proposed fares of VND7,000-12,000 (30-51 U.S. Cents) per trip, pending government aprroval.

The ticketing system isn’t known yet, but it’s encouraging khổng lồ know that the government wants lớn use one smart card for all public transport. Why make the same mistake that other cities have committed by having different ticketing systems (like bangkok thái lan and Kuala Lumpur), when you can get it right the first time.

Ben Thanh Station and Le Loi Underground Plaza

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The massive Ben Thanh Station complex was nearing the point of being structurally complete, và the above-ground construction area was set khổng lồ be returned to lớn public space in August. This was before the latest covid lockdowns, so this will be delayed as well.

Next to lớn the station plaza is the One Central tp hcm towers, which will be connected to the underground metro plaza.

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While it is good news that the construction mess in front of Ben Thanh market will be packed up, there was a report that the underground complex has not found an investor. They are talking about doing a second dig after the metro is already running. This seems crazy to vị it this way, causing years more disruption.

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The station will have three lines converge here, making it one of the biggest metro stations in Southeast Asia. The authorities should be throwing everything they have at either finding an investor or getting the government khổng lồ back it. Get it all finished (including the other lines that will pass through Ben Thanh) and return the đô thị centre back into a functional space.

I have written a separate blog post about Ben Thanh Station.

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Opera Station & Le Loi Street

Opera Station was structurally complete & the work area between Pasteur St và Nguyen Hue was returned to public space. At the moment Le Loi Street is just a paved road without any landscaping, so it looks bare without any trees. The rest of Le Loi is still a metro construction site, so this will not be landscaped until the rest of the street has been opened up.

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There is a metro service tower that stands by itself on an empty block. It looks out of place, but it has been built to lớn be integrated into the future Okura Prestige Saigon Hotel. You can read about that on the HCMC construction report for 2021.

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Other Station Photos

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Line 2

Line 2 continues with pre-preparation, though they are still in the same position as last year of clearing land in preparation for construction.

In the last year the đô thị cancelled a loan from the ADB & then applied for a larger loan.

A new consultant for the line had lớn be found after failing to reach an agreement on renewing the previous independent consultant contract.

Land acquisition has also been a factor in delays, with disagreements over compensation slowing down the process.

The most recent report said that construction would begin in late 2021.

Other lines

I won’t rehash all the proposed lines here, but you can see them on my HCMC Metro page.

It’s been a lean year for updates on any of the other planned transit lines. Here are the lines that were mentioned in the news over the last year.

The hcm City People’s Committee has proposed beginning the first phase of Metro Line 5 in 2023, & a Korean ngân hàng has asked khổng lồ conduct an investment study for Phase 2 of Metro Line No. 5.

In addition to lớn the metro lines, there are also three monorail lines planned. The Ho bỏ ra Minh thành phố Urban Railway Management Board has proposed khổng lồ soon implement the Monorail No.3 project from Go Vap District to lớn District 12.

There is also plans for a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), though details continue lớn remain vague about the routes. The BRT was mentioned as part of an investment package with Lines 1 and 2.

Another vague proposition that is not in the current plan is for a metro line from chảy Son Nhat Airport to the under-construction Long Thanh International Airport. There have already been proposals for a light rail & future national high-speed rail to connect the new airport, so this is a new one. The announcement doesn’t mention which route it would take.

I proposed building an airport-to-airport metro on my Saigon Metro concept map. This bản đồ is titled “If Saigon had a subway like Shanghai”, và I got my airport-to-airport metro inspiration from the Shanghai Metro. I hope the HCMC Metro authority are inspired by my bản đồ proposal as well.