return icon

Which means of transport will Hanoians use in the next five years?

Hanoi plans to build three urban railway lines in the next five years.



The planning of five urban railway routes was announced by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in 2006 along the six existing tramcar lines since 1900 and the railway through Hanoi since 1902. Urban railway lines extend in all directions, double the length.

But after 100 years, trains of different kinds need to change. To carry more cargo and run faster, they need to be elevated or go underground.

With old railway routes, townhouses were built as far as railways reached. Railway developers were allocated land alongside the railways to do business. As such, the city did not have to spend money to develop railways, while its revenue increased thanks to the tax collections.

But with new railways routes, the city has no land to sell. It has to borrow money to buy trains, but has to sell tickets at low prices.

Hanoi’s railway lines have shown low feasibility over the last 20 years of deployment.


In 2016, JICA released a forecast about travel demand in Hanoi by 2030, showing that 80 percent of day trips are within 20 percent of Hanoi’s central area.

Meanwhile, the Hanoi transport planning by 2030 with the vision towards 2050 shows eight railway lines, with total length of 460 kilometers.

It’s estimated that total investment capital of the eight lines is $50-60 billion, while Hanoi’s budget for investments is smaller than $0.5 billion in total. This means that Hanoi would need 100 years to fulfill the network.

The documents guiding the development of urban railways released by the World Bank in 2018 (WB 2018 documents) recommend that countries should only develop urban railways when the travel demand in each direction is higher than 20,000 people per hour.

Meanwhile, the figures shown in the investment reports are much lower. The 2A Cat Linh – Ha Dong, for example, is just 10 percent. So, Hanoi needs to have reliable calculations about travel demand before it draws up any new urban railway lines. At first, it’s necessary to assess the 460 kilometers of urban railways programmed and announced in 2016.


Hanoi needs to have reliable calculations about travel demand before it draws up any new urban railway lines. At first, it’s necessary to assess the 460 kilometers of urban railways programmed and announced in 2016.


The Cat Linh - Ha Dong metro line began commercial operation in early November, 2021.

3 out of hundreds of train types chosen

Under the program, there are three types – urban railways, monorail and BRT. WB 2018 documents showed that urban railways alone are three types – LRT (light rail transit) with the investment rate of $20-40 million per kilometer; elevated or ground railways at $35-70 million, and underground railways at $75-180 million.

Hanoi decided to buy the most expensive, $68.5 million per kilometer (Cat Linh – Ha Dong elevated railway), and $200 million per kilometer (underground railway from Hanoi Station to Hoang Mai). Though they are both urban railways, they use different technologies.

Hanoi can choose one or many types with different investment rates, but they must follow common technical standards. But Hanoi still doesn’t have the standards.

Other cities in the world, both rich and poor, always follow common technical standards, so they can develop a variety of means of transport which run smoothly. Vehicles and trains share the same railways and roads to take full advantage of the existing infrastructure.

Jakarta (Indonesia) has the Jaclingko system that integrates intercity, suburban and urban railways with BRT - BUS and 7-seat small bus in the same service system with a single ticket.

This shows that Hanoi can build an elevated two-way bus route – Priority Bus Lane (PBL) which can be converted into urban railways when Hanoi has enough passengers and the investment rate is lower by tens of times, just $10 million per kilometer.

Railway ‘lonely’ in dense city

The two urban railway lines have tens of stations standing ‘lonely’, with no connection with other transit points, safe walking routes and commercial centers, which is quite different from urban railway routes all over the world.

In Bangkok (Thailand), urban railway lines connect streets with a safe walking network leading to bus, taxi, tuc tuc stations, commercial centers, office buildings and residential areas. This is the result of the multidisciplinary investment management model.

Hanoi needs to change the single-task investor model, under which investors just develop urban railways with state money and don’t care about profits and losses. Only when Hanoi applies the multi-task and multi-interest mode will its urban railways solve the problem of having high investment rates but low number of passengers.

5 or 50 kilometers of urban railways for next 5 years?

Hanoi plans to spend trillions of dong to ease traffic jams and reduce the number of private vehicles from Belt Road No3 towards the central area of the city, while developing public transport with low fares.

The Urban Railway No1 (Yen Vien – Ngoc Hoi) kicked off in 2004 with the investment capital of VND81 billion (the initial investment capital was VND9 trillion). With the old way of project planning, just 5 kilometers can be built after five years. Meanwhile, Hanoi needs 50-70 kilometers immediately.

The most feasible solution is building PBL convertible to urban railway, and upgrading the existing railways.

The favorable condition is that the 80 percent of land is ‘clear’, i.e there would be no need to spend much time on site clearance. A multi-sector integrated planning model and mobilization of mass capital for public means of transport will ensure investment efficiency and implementation progress. 

Tran Huy Anh (Hanoi Architect Association)

International rail freight grows, VNR wants to upgrade railways

International rail freight grows, VNR wants to upgrade railways

International transport through rail carriage to European countries via China grew rapidly in 2021. However, the advantages of this transport have not been fully exploited because of poor infrastructure.

Hanoi to break ground on three metro lines by 2025

Hanoi to break ground on three metro lines by 2025

Hanoi is preparing to start work on three new urban railway projects by 2025, said municipal vice chairman Duong Duc Tuan.


Over US$34 billion set to pour into Vietnam’s real estate market this year

During the first seven months of 2022, over VND420 trillion (US$18 billion) was pumped into the real estate market. The figure could be raised to VND800 trillion ($34 billion) by the end of the year in case of favorable conditions.


Government offers support to additional 243,000 pandemic-hit labourers

Tourism businesses struggle to get cut-rate loans

Struggling tourism businesses in HCM City are in dire need of credit to recover but are finding it very difficult to access the subsidised loans under the Government’s Decree 31 that took effect in May, according to the city's Department of Tourism.


Ministry of Finance seeks to drop fuel price stabilization fund

Vietnam to tighten management, increase supervision to prevent tax loss

Nowadays online shopping becomes more popular than in-store shopping and more people have taken take full advantage of social networking platforms to put an ad on social network platforms about their products.

Foreign firms required to store users' data in Vietnam

Foreign firms shall be required to store users' data within Vietnamese territory and set up local offices, according to the Government's Decree No. 53/2022/ND-CP scheduled to take place from October 1, 2022.

40 Vietnamese people flee Cambodia's casino

Long Binh Border Gate Station in the southern province of An Giang has just detained 40 Vietnamese people who illegally entered the country by a local river.

Vietnam’s corporate bond market hits over US$11.2 bln in seven months

Vietnamese enterprises issued bonds worth a total ofVND262.25 trillion (more than US$11.2 billion) over the first seven months of 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 10.9 percent, announced the Ministry of Finance.

Foreign traveler suggests 10 most unique Vietnamese cities

Canadian freelance writer Matthew Pike, who departed his homeland to settle in Vietnam, has listed the 10 most unique Vietnamese cities for travelers to visit.

Estate businesses face capital deadlock

To solve the problem of lacking capital, real estate businesses must change to suit the situation. They must focus on the capital market (issuing corporate bonds, stocks).

Thao aims to be first Vietnam's IBA champion

Tran Van Thao hopes to reach another milestone in his career and national boxing by winning the International Boxing Association (IBA) belt next month in HCM City.

VN representative to introduce image of Saint Giong at Man of The Year 2022 contest

Nguyen Minh Khac, Vietnam’s contestant at The Man Of The Year 2022 pageant, disclosed his national costume for the contest on August 17.

A 'miracle' for Vietnam to catch up with Thailand and Malaysia

In 2030, the income of Vietnamese is expected to be equal to that of Malaysia in 2007. Experts calculate that if Vietnam tries its best, it can catch up with Thailand and Malaysia, but it will still be far behind China and South Korea.

Vietnam’s chess star Le Quang Liem defeats World Cup champion for second time

Vietnam’s top chess player Le Quang Liem defeated World Cup champion Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland at the FTX Crypto Cup 2022 in Miami, Florida UAS on August 18.

FLC names new vice president to replace Dang Tat Thang

The Board of Directors of FLC Group has approved the resignation of Vice Chairman Dang Tat Thang and elected Mr. Doan Huu Doan to replace Mr. Thang as of August 17.