The service, Vietnam’s first, would help increase the number of public transport users, and together with the nine other routes planned, form a key transport network to help reduce traffic congestion, the city Deputy Chairman, Duong Duc Tuan, said.
The first train left Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District at 7:40 a.m. for Yen Nghia Station in Ha Dong District to the southwest.
A full trip on the 13-kilometer elevated track will take 23 minutes after stopping at all 12 stations.
After being free for the first 15 days, it will cost VND8,000–15,000 ($0.35–0.66) for a ticket.
There will also be monthly tickets for VND100,000-200,000.
In the first week, the service will be from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day with a train every 15 minutes. The frequency will be increased from the second week with a train leaving every 10 minutes.
After six months, the service will be extended to 10.30 p.m., and there will be a train every six minutes during rush hour.
Built by China Railway Sixth Group Co Ltd, the project took 10 years to complete with hurdles and conflicts delaying the work several times.
Its cost increased by 57 percent from the original estimate to VND18 trillion ($868 million), with 77 percent of it coming from official development assistance loans from China.
The city of 8.3 million people is plagued by traffic congestion during rush hour due to the large number of motorbikes and cars.