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Saigon Slowly Pushes Ahead With 12km Tramway Line

While Saigon’s future metro system grabs most of the headlines, these trains aren’t the only rail-based mode of transportation in the city’s master infrastructure plan.


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Last week, Saigon's Department of Transport announced that it has received approval from the local People’s Committee to conduct a feasibility study for a light rail line that would “cater to 20-25 percent of the demand for public transport in the city”, reports Thanh Nien.

The 12-kilometer route would link Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to Mien Tay Bus Station in Binh Tan District. Under the plan, the six-stop line would be serviced by 15 trams, each with a locomotive car and four passenger cars capable of carrying 238 passengers each.

According to the Department of Transport, such a tramway is necessary to offset worsening traffic in the city. However, Thanh Nien cautioned that city officials have talked up tramways for years but none of the three projected lines - Line 2 will connect Districts 8 and 2, while Line 3 will run through Go Vap District - have moved past the planning stage. 

For their part, the local authorities maintain that there will be three tramway lines in Saigon by 2020.

Though physical progress of Saigon’s grand public transportation system has long been limited, things are heating up this year. Back in June, the city submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Planning and Investment to build a two-kilometer extension connecting Line 5 of the metro to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, completed the groundwork for Line 4 and secured World Bank loans for a 23-kilometer BRT System.

If Saigon’s tramway plan defies the odds and comes to fruition, it’ll be mighty interesting to watch trains, motorbikes and cars jockeying for position on the city streets.

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