About 15-20 percent of drivers in Hanoi are forecast to switch to using the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway when the train becomes operational (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - If the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway ever begins operations, 15-20 percent of drivers in Hanoi will switch to using the train, according to the municipal Department of Transport.

The elevated railway line was supposed to begin commercial operations three years ago and it is still unclear when it will open, but city officials are already preparing to integrate it into Hanoi’s public transport system.

The department plans to increase the number of bus routes connected with Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway route from 43 to 50, with 65 bus stops along the route.

With this adjustment to the bus network, the Department of Transportation has said the amount of passengers on the route from Yen Nghia Bus Station-Nga Tu So area will increase by three or four times compared to the current figure.

The bus system which connects with the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway route will be able to serve 313,000-344,000 passengers daily, according to the department.

Once the line opens, the number of taxis operating along its route is expected to decrease due to people taking buses to use the railway, cutting traffic congestion.

The railway is also hoped to shorten travel time on the route by half and cut overcrowding on buses.

However, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project again missed a target for beginning commercial operation in late April and no new opening date has been set.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said the deadline was missed as the project had not been granted a safety certificate and been approved by the State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection.

The 886 million USD-cost line runs 13.5km with 12 stations, with trains set to run every 3-5 minutes.

The Ministry of Transport is the investor of the project but the Hanoi People’s Committee is responsible for managing, operating and maintaining the urban railway. The China Railway Sixth Group is the contractor of the project.-VNS/VNA