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Jun 15, 2023 / 15:49

Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban rail becomes popular means of transport

More than 30,000 passengers commute daily on the elevated trains with 70% of them being monthly riders.

In its second year of operation, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated train has made commuting easier for Hanoi residents.

Nguyen Thi Hien, a 32-year-old woman who lives in Dong Da District, often takes two sons to her parents' house in Van Quan Ward, Ha Dong District.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line. Photo: The Hanoi Times

In the days before the skytrain, Hien's motorcycle commute depended on the weather, traffic conditions, and her own health. In some cases, Hien had to spend up to 40 minutes on the road because of traffic jams.

Her trip has been less than 20 minutes since the Cat Linh-Ha Dong sky train began fully operating on November 6, 2021.

"It takes me a few minutes to walk from my house to the Thai Ha station on Hoang Cau Street, and a few minutes to get off at the Phung Khoang station to arrive at my parents' house," she told The Hanoi Times.

"It takes 20 minutes at most to get home, including the time to buy tickets, check in and wait for the train," Hien said, adding, "I find it very convenient."

In the opposite direction, 20-year-old Le Duc Thang rides the line every day to get to school.

"I used to be late for class because the road was full of impatient and honking drivers who wanted to get to their offices as fast as possible," he said.

Thang used to travel 10 kilometers between his home and school every day on his motorbike.

"Now I just carry an umbrella in case it rains or the sky is too sunny."

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway has brought great benefits to society, people and the environment in the 19 months since it began operating.

On November 6, 2021, the line became the first fully-operational urban railway line in Hanoi. As of June 11, the line operated safely for 583 days and hit a ridership of more than 13.7 million.

"The Skytrain has operated as planned in its first two years. As a non-profit public investment project, it has been able to best serve the interests of people, society and the environment," said Vu Hong Truong, General Director of Hanoi Metro One Member Limited Liability Company (Hanoi Metro).

At a meeting earlier this week, Truong reported that for every one million individual vehicles replaced by the Skytrain, 487,000 hours of road traffic are saved, generating an economic value of VND30 billion (US$1.27 million) for the city and reducing 100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the air.

More than 30,000 passengers ride the elevated train every day. Of them, 47% of the total passengers commute to work, 45% of the total passengers go to school, and 8% of the passengers have other purposes.

On average, 70% of all daily passengers are monthly riders. During the peak hours, the proportion of monthly users rises to 85%.

Passengers buy tickets on a automatic machine. Photo: The Hanoi Times

The data proves that the elevated railway has become more popular among local passengers and has reduced environmental pollution and the risk of traffic accidents. In addition, it helps cut the number of individual vehicles during rush hours.

The operation of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong skytrain has also enabled the training and creation of regulators and policymakers capable of managing similar models of urban trains in the future, Truong said.

In terms of profits, Hanoi Metro, the operator of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway, reported a profit of nearly VND97 billion (US$4.12 million) in 2022.

According to Truong, the line has been running on ticket sales and state subsidies, which ensure the proper operation of trains, payment of employees' salaries, maintenance of the project, and guarantee of passengers' interests.