The Metro Line No.1 connecting Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Suoi Tien Park in District 9 in Ho Chi Minh City is set to begin running in 2018, according to the commitments of related sides.

The HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways and a consortium of Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Vietnam’s Civil Engineering Construction Corporation No. 6 (Cienco 6) on July 14 reached an agreement on the construction pace of the 20 km long metro line.

Work on the scheme started in late August last year and is slated to be completed in 2016 before the assessment and handover of the project in 2017. The line will be commissioned in 2018.

The construction of the metro line aims to ease the chronic congestion at the northeastern gate of the city where traffic flow from southern and central provinces is huge.

When in place with a maximum speed of 80 km an hour in the tunnel and 110 km an hour on the elevated section, it will take about 20 minutes to go from Suoi Tien to the downtown area.

The metro line is expected to transport some 600,000 passengers a day.

Total costs for the line No.1 are estimated at 2.07 billion USD sourced by ODA loans and the State budget.-VNA