Hanoi’s Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway line, the first of its kind in Vietnam, welcomed first passengers as it commenced commercial operation on Saturday after a decade of construction.
The first train of the China-funded urban railway project left the Cat Linh station in Dong Da District at 7:40 am this morning for the Yen Nghia station in Ha Dong District, following a handover ceremony between the Ministry of Transport and Hanoi authorities.
A full trip will take 23 minutes on the 13-kilometer elevated railway line that has 12 stations.
The line serves passengers for free for the first 15 days of operation before charging VND8,000 to VND15,000 ($0.35-0.66) for a ticket depending on trips.
|The handover ceremony for the Hanoi-Cat Linh urban railway line between the Ministry of Transport and Hanoi authorities on November 6, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
The opening price is set at VND7,000 and VND600 will be charged for each following kilometer.
“For the first time, Vietnam applies train charge by distance, allowing passengers to be more or less depending on the length of the entire route,” said Vu Hong Truong, director of Hanoi Metro Co., Ltd., the project’s operator.
“The above fare has been subsidized by the State.”
The daily ticket price is VND30,000 ($1.3) with unlimited trip numbers and monthly tickets are at VND100,000, VND140,000 and VND200,000 ($8.8), depending on passenger groups.
|Passengers on the first train leaving Cat Linh station after the handover ceremony on November 6, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
People with meritorious services, the elderly, people with disabilities, children under six years old and members of poor households are exempted from metro charges.
The line will operate from 5.30 am to 8:00 pm with a train every 15 minutes every day in the first week of operation and will increase the frequency to a train per ten minutes from the second week.
The service hours will be extended until 10:30 pm every day after six months and there will be a train every six minutes during rush hour.
Before putting the Cat Linh – Ha Dong route into official operation, 63 emergency rescue circumstances had been drilled successfully, the project’s operator said.
|A train of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi is seen ready to serve passengers. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre|
The line was built by China Railway Sixth Group Co., Ltd. within 10 years at a cost of more than US$868 million after several adjustments.
Of the total amount, 77 percent came from official development assistance (ODA) loans from China.
The service, the first-ever in Vietnam, would contribute to promoting the use of public transport means among residents in the capital and thereby easing traffic congestion, said deputy chairman of the city’s administration Duong Duc Tuan at the ceremony.
The city of 8.3 million people often suffers from traffic congestion during rush hour due to the circulation of a large number of motorbikes and cars.
|Passengers are eligible for free rides in the first 15 days of operation of the metro route. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre|
“This is the first public transport means of this kind in Vietnam, so I want to experience it soon,” Tran Hai, an 81-year-old local man, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, adding that he had taken a bus to Cat Linh from his residence in Cau Giay District for his first elevated train trip.
46-year-old Pham Anh Minh, another resident, said: “My house is on Nguyen Trai Street, next to the Cat Linh station, about three kilometers away from my office. From now on, I will try going to work using this train line.”
|Hanoi people stand in line at the Cat Linh station in Dong Da District, Hanoi on November 6, 2021, waiting for a trip on the first elevated railway route of the city as well as Vietnam. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
|Passengers are seen inside the first train of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line in Hanoi on November 6, 2021. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre|