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Saigon Metro Line 1 Announces July Launch Date, Free Rides in Phase 1

Will 2024 be the auspicious year when our legs could finally step on the metro platform for the first time?

On April 1, the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) published a new plan detailing the expected operation of Saigon’s first and only metro line, Line 1. Contrary to conflicting rumors over the past months, MAUR revealed that Metro Line 1 will take its maiden voyage in July 2024.

According to Tuổi Trẻ, which reported on the updated plan, Line 1 will first undergo a “soft opening” running period free of charge to familiarize city residents with its existence before officially going into commercial operation in 2025.

Specifically, in Phase 1, which spans July 1–September 30, the line will employ seven three-car trains running from 5am to 10pm at a frequency of one arrival per 10 minutes.

In Phase 2, which spans October 1 to December 31, the line will increase to 12 three-car trains running from 5am to 10:30pm at 8–10 minutes per arrival during weekdays and nine trains during weekends and public holidays.

After that, in 2025, it’s expected that Metro Line 1 will amp up its service in accordance with designed specifications: 15 trains at 8 minutes per train during non-peak hours and 4.5 minutes per train during peak hours. Train services will be available from 5am to 11:30pm.

Last month, a MAUR report to the municipal People’s Committee sparked controversy amongst locals as it revealed that the launch date Metro Line 1 was once again delayed to Q4 2024, though the project director has since clarified that the report only includes the “most conservative” timeline.

Progress reports from MAUR put the long-awaited subway line’s completion rate at 98% with the remaining tasks including personnel training, fire safety assessment, and other quality assurance checks.

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