The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed Thursday a US$293 million loan agreement for the construction of a metro line to reduce traffic congestion in Hanoi.
The ADB-funded 12.5-kilometer Metro Line 3 will include 3.6 kilometers of underground and 8.9 kilometers of elevated and transition tracks.
The metro will run from the Hanoi Railway Station through Cau Giay to Nhon.
"The metro rail project will support efforts of Hanoi's authorities to solve traffic congestion more efficiently and substantially reduce green house gas emissions, ensuring the capital's sustainable socioeconomic development," said ADB Country Director for Vietnam, Tomoyuki Kimura.
The Metro Line 3 project, which is also funded by French government and the European Investment Bank, is one of four priority metro lines planned for the capital's metropolitan area.
Scheduled to be completed in 2015, the metro line is expected to initially transport more than 150,000 people a day, and almost half a million a day by 2030.
In Hanoi, each family typically owns three to four motorbikes, and many of the motorbike users are switching to cars as their incomes increase.
If this trend continues, coupled with the capital's population expansion from six to eight million people by 2025, traffic congestion in the city will worsen, experts have said.
"We realize there is a large dependence on private vehicles to meet transport needs in Hanoi and it will be challenging to change the people's mindset. But we sincerely hope public transportation will be supported by people in Hanoi as the low carbon transport mode is more sustainable and will substantially improve the quality of life of Hanoi residents," Kimura said.