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Saigon Eyes Japanese Funding For Two More Metro Lines

As work on Saigon’s first metro line chugs along, city authorities are seeking Japanese loans to fund the construction of two more major lines running through the heart of the city.

Last week, the city’s Urban Railway Management Board asked Hanoi for permission to seek nearly US$3 billion worth of loans from Japan’s official development assistance program for metro lines 3A and 3B, reports Tuoi Tre.

Line 3A would run 10 kilometers from District 1's Ben Thanh Station to Mien Tay (Western) Bus Station in Binh Tan District, while line 3B would connect Cong Hoa Station in Tan Binh District with Hiep Binh Phuoc Station in Thu Duc District (see the map below) over 12 kilometers.

Map via Tim Doling

The management board added that, unlike metro line 1, 3A and 3B would be built primarily underground however did not mention start or completion dates for the two new lines.

Perhaps spurred by worsening traffic on Saigon’s streets, the city seems to be prioritizing public transport projects.

Back in June, the city submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Planning and Investment to build a two-kilometer extension connecting metro line 5 to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, completed the groundwork for line 4 and secured World Bank loans for a 23-kilometer BRT System.

It’s a race against time for the city as personal vehicles, especially cars, are transforming busy streets into parking lots during rush hour and city buses, Saigon’s only current means of public transport, are experiencing a precipitous drop in ridership.

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