Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is experiencing impressive population growth and still does not have a fully-fledged mass transit network. The municipality has set out to address this situation – and control impacts in terms of pollution, public health and loss of productivity – by building a metro network. Financing for the pilot line has been entrusted to AFD, among other donors.
Thirty-fold increase in car traffic in ten years
There has been a marked deterioration in the traffic situation in Vietnam’s capital in recent years. This has been caused by the population increase (6.2 million in 2012, 8 million in 2020, according to local official forecasts), the expansion of the urban area (+4.6% a year) and the increase in household car ownership. Between 1995 and 2005, there was a six-fold increase in moped traffic and a thirty-fold increase in car traffic!
Over the past twenty years, Vietnam’s large cities have been experiencing continued urbanization and socioeconomic development.
In Hanoi, the prevalence of motorbikes (3.7 million two-wheeled vehicles, i.e. 600 motorbikes for 1,000 inhabitants – Hanoi’s residents make 78% of their journeys by motorbike), combined with the recent increase in the vehicle fleet, generates a number of negative externalities both in terms of congestion and road safety and public health.
Five metro lines to combat the “urban transport crisis”
The bus network is currently the only alternative for personal means of transport. However, it no longer meets the increasing need for inner-city travel (the city’s bus network only has a thousand buses), despite it being reorganized in 2011 and a thirty-fold increase in the number of passengers in six years.
The City of Hanoi adopted a Master Plan to address the urgency of this “urban transport crisis”, which was updated in 2007-2008. It plans to build a network of five metro lines, which should be completed by 2030.
Commissioning in 2018
AFD is cofinancing the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro, which is considered as a “pilot line”. It will be 12.5 km long (8.5 km overhead, 4 km underground) at its commissioning date, which is scheduled in 2015, and will be extended to 21 km by 2020, then 33 and 48 km by 2030.
Target: one in two journeys by public transport
One in two journeys by public transport: this is the 2020 target for the City of Hanoi’s Master Plan.
Generally speaking, the development of urban public transport supports economic growth and the productivity of activities in cities. It increases the mobility of communities and their access to healthcare and education, as well as their integration into economic life (especially for women, who have fewer means of transport of their own than men, and the poorest communities). Finally, it curbs urban pollution and improves living conditions for residents.
The Hanoi line meets AFD’s requirements in terms of transport: control of urban congestion and greenhouse gas emissions and multimodal approach.
The Nhon-Hanoi Station metro will transport 157,000 passengers a day at its commissioning in 2018, 428,000 by 2020, and 750,000 by 2030, following the line extensions.
The Nhon-Hanoi Station project will save approximately 20,000 T eq. CO2 between 2010 and 2030. According to studies financed by the French GEF, the development of public transport in the City of Hanoi is expected to halve local polluting emissions by 2020. Energy consumption is expected to fall by 30%.
Finally, this project will reduce the number of road accidents. Without a project, the number of road accidents is estimated at 3,500 a year (900 of them fatal). The figure is expected to fall to 2,100 (500 fatal) when the metro is in service.
Cost and financing
AFD is financing this line via a EUR 110m loan and EUR 0.5m grant, cofinanced with the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance’s Emerging Countries Reserve (RPE), Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and European Investment Bank (EIB). This project also benefits from a EUR 1.27m grant from the French Global Environment Facility (French GEF). The contracting authority – the municipal department, Hanoi Metropolitan Rail Transport Project Board (MRB) – has, for its part, called on the French group Systra for the engineering.
The total project cost is currently estimated at some EUR 1.2bn. This represents a cost overrun of EUR +460m compared to the feasibility study in 2009, meaning that additional donor funding has been requested. AFD is studying the possibility of an additional EUR 70m loan in this respect.
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