HCM City's first monorail system will begin operation in 2015 if land acquisition and financing are tied up soon, the city Department of Transport has said.

Two systems, named monorail No2 and monorail No3, are slated to be built.

The first, a 12-kilometre line, will link Nguyen Van Linh Highway in Binh Chanh district and the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2.

Bui Xuan Cuong, the department's deputy head, said monorail No2 will be put into operation first since the land required for it has already been acquired.

The other will link Nga Sau Junction in Go Vap district and running across Quang Trung Software City in District 12 and to Tan Thoi Hiep street in District 12, eight kilometres away.

City authorities are studying investment mechanisms and possibly investors, he said.

The monorail systems will help create an integrated public transport system by linking the proposed underground routes, he added.

Monorail No2 will link metro No5 between Sai Gon Bridge in District 2 and Can Giuoc bus station in District 8 with metro No4 from Nga Sau Junction in Go Vap District and Khanh Hoi street, District 4 as well as metro No1 between Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien Park in District 9.

In areas without metros, the monorail will be an effective means of transport in itself, Cuong said.

At a conference held on August 26, Dr Pham Si Liem, head of the Institute of Urban Research and Infrastructure Development, said the city needs to build more monorail systems to connect other modes of transport with the city's commercial areas.

Dr Nguyen Huu Nguyen of the Southern Vietnam Economic Search Centre hoped monorails will meet the city's transport needs and persuade residents to give up motorbikes.

Others called for revamping transportation as well as urban plans so that they dovetail to improve the effectiveness of the monorail systems./.