Vietnam's first city metro, built by China, carries 14,917 passengers per day
Published: Jan 13, 2022 09:24 PM
The opening ceremony of Vietnam's first urban light rail, which was built by Chinese firm,is held in Hanoi on January 13, 2022.Photo: Courtesy of China Railway Sixth Group Co

The opening ceremony of Vietnam's first urban light rail, which was built by Chinese firm, is held in Hanoi on January 13, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of China Railway Sixth Group Co

The opening ceremony of Vietnam's first urban light rail, which was built by China, was held in Hanoi on Thursday. The metro line made about 13,000 runs and carried more than 1 million people during the 67-day trial operation, which started on November 6, 2021.

Analysts said more trips will be made as the Vietnamese economy recovers, supported by higher employment, growing workers' wages and stable prices.

The 13-kilometer Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line with 12 stations linking railway and bus stations and universities, built by China Railway Sixth Group Co, has a maximum transport capacity of 28,500 passengers per hour in each direction. 

As the first urban railway in Vietnam, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong line can help realize a 20-minute convenient living circle in Hanoi, according to a statement sent by the China Railway Sixth Group Co to the Global Times on Thursday.

Each day, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong route carried an average of 14,917 passengers, according to the Hanoi Municipal government on Thursday.

The metro line is also the largest urban light rail project built by China that has integrated the full industry chain of Chinese standards, including construction technology, equipment, materials, supervision and operational management.

More than 6,000 technicians have been trained with 20,000 people employed during construction, which involved nearly 40 types of work in 11 professional systems, said the company.

The operation of the $868 million project is 100 percent in the hands of the Vietnamese metro company, according to China Railway Sixth Group Co.

"About 15,000 passenger-trips per day were made during the trial operation, which slams back at the US media's claim of a 'lack of riders.' More passengers are expected as COVID-19 may have prevented some people from taking public transportation," a railway engineer surnamed Wang, who declined to reveal the name of his employer, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The Hanoi Municipal government also said that recently, the number of people visiting and experiencing the route has decreased due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

The total number of passenger trips in Vietnam stood at 2.387 billion in 2021, down 33 percent year-on-year, according to statistics released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam.

The price of a ticket for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro is 8,000 dong ($0.35) for a single trip and 30,000 dong for a daily pass. A monthly pass costs 200,000 dong, local new media Viet Nam News reported.

The average monthly wage for workers in 2021 was 6.6 million dong, down 603,000 dong from the same period in 2020, read GSO data.

It means that a worker will pay nearly half of their monthly earnings to buy monthly passes for the metro for a whole year. 

With the average CPI in Vietnam in 2021 up 101.84 percent from 2020, taking the metro will be no small financial burden for many workers, said analysts.

But they noted that as the Vietnamese economy recovers and the employment goes up, more people will take the metro, as it is convenient and safe.

Regular travel on the route by users of monthly tickets has remained stable and is increasing, especially as students go back to school, said the Hanoi Municipal government.

Global Times