HCM CITY authorities have assured the public that the long-awaited first metro line in Saigon will be fully completed by the end of 2023, with commercial operations set to begin next year.

The Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has reported that the metro line, which connects Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Suối Tiên Theme Park in Thủ Đức City, is now over 98% complete. Key stations, including the HCM City Opera House and Ba Son, are expected to be finished by September.

The construction of tracks, which are underground between Bến Thành and the Opera House and above ground elsewhere, as well as the depot, is anticipated to be completed by October. The remaining work is scheduled to be finished by December.

However, the State-run HCM City Urban Railway Company No. 1 (HURC1), responsible for operating the metro, is facing challenges with funding and personnel shortages. The city’s People’s Committee has reached out to the Ministry of Finance for assistance in resolving the financial issues faced by the company. HURC1 has been unable to pay salaries since August 2021 and currently owes its employees VN6.7 billion.

To ensure the project stays on track, MAUR will closely monitor implementation and develop plans to commence operations according to the schedule. The total cost of the project is estimated to be VN47 trillion.

Spanning a distance of 19.7km, with 2.6km underground, the metro line will feature 11 stations. Originally slated for completion in 2018, the project has faced repeated delays due to funding challenges and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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