Ho Chi Minh City plans $5.5 billion for transport projects through 2020

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Vehicles are seen on a newly-built overpass in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh
Authority in Ho Chi Minh City plans to pump VND124.2 trillion (US$5.54 billion) into transport projects over the next five years, a three-fold increase from the fund earmarked for the 2011-2015 period, local media reported on Wednesday.
More than 44 percent of the fund will come from the city budget, and the rest from different sources including the state budget and private investors.
The HCMC People's Committee was quoted as saying that part of the fund will be distributed to projects aimed for reducing traffic congestion and accidents around the city, and some for new roads connecting the city with nearby provinces.
With nearly VND39 trillion ($1.73 billion) spent on the transport sector since 2011, HCMC has achieved most of its transport objectives, but its public transport system is still underdeveloped with no express buses and subways, the authority said.
Public transport was expected to meet 15 percent of the city's demand. However, the system can currently serve only 9.8 percent of the population, it said.
Early this month HCMC authority announced a $140-million project to build the city's first bus rapid transit line with the World Bank funding about 88.5 percent of the cost.
Construction is slated to start this year, and the 23-kilometer line will start operating in December 2018 with 28 buses.
The city's first metro line linking District 1 and District 9 is being built at a cost of $2.49 billion. Work is expected to complete in 2020. 

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