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Saigon's Metro Line 1 Might Extend Into Binh Duong and Dong Nai: Study

The governments of both Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces are studying the feasibility of extending Saigon's Metro Line 1 into their areas.

Vietnam Net reports that late last month authorities from Binh Duong worked with a Japanese research team to study the possibility of stretching the mass transit system into the province. Line 1 is currently set to run from Ben Thanh Market to Suoi Tien Park in District 9. 

The researchers proposed a three-part extension: a two-kilometer stretch from Suoi Tien to Nut Giao in the first phase, followed by additions to Binh Duong and Dong Nai from there.

Dong Nai leaders believe the extension would reduce vehicle traffic entering Saigon from the province, while Binh Duong officials wish to connect the province's new city center to Suoi Tien.

How the existing metro can connect to the two neighboring provinces. Photo via Tuoi Tre.

The total cost of the project is estimated at VND21.2 trillion (US$935 million), according to the news source. Under the proposal Saigon would cover the investment cost of the extension, while the two neighboring provinces would pay compensation fees. 

However, funding for the under-construction segments of the line is already in question, as Le Nguyen Minh Quang, head of the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways, told the news source that the city needs VND5.2 trillion (US$289 million) for payments this year, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment has only set aside VND2.9 trillion.

Saigon currently owes contractors VND1.34 trillion (US$58.9 million) for metro work, and Quang raised concern that construction may be delayed if payments are not processed in time.

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