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As Metro Line 1 Nears Completion, Saigon Moves Forward With Plans for Line 3A

The 20-kilometer-long Metro Line 3A would run from Ben Thanh Station in District 1 to Tan Kien Ward in Binh Chanh District.

Authorities recently submitted specific plans to the Ministry of Planning and Investment for line 3A, which would eventually connect to the already-under construction first line, forming an east-west corridor linking District 9 and Binh Chanh via downtown.

It is expected to be built in two phases: the first phase is to begin in 2025 and be completed in 2031; the second is set to start in 2028 and finish in 2034. The line would feature 18 total stations across eight districts. The majority of the 9.7-kilometer first phase from Ben Thanh Market to the Mien Tay Bus Terminal will be underground. 

An unofficial map of Saigon's future metro network. Line 1, which is close to finishing, is in red, while Line 3A is in green. Map via Wikipedia.

Meanwhile, work on the city's first two lines remains behind schedule and over budget. Originally scheduled to open by 2018, the first line is currently 72% finished, and the new completion date is scheduled for the end of 2021. Costs for the project have doubled to VND43.6 trillion (US$1.87 billion). Meanwhile, Line 2 has been pushed back to a 2026 inauguration with costs rising from US$1.3 billion to more than US$2.1 billion. 

Saigon authorities started seeking funding for Line 3A in 2015 and, since then, the Japanese government has agreed to help out in terms of financial assistance and technical expertise. The first proposals detailing the route of Line 3A appeared as early as 2009.

The city hopes that eventually, six envisioned metro lines and some new rail and monorails routes will constitute 220km of total public transportation help to ease the city's traffic woes. 

[Top photo via VNMEdia]