Hanoi Shifts Gears: Replacing Bus Rapid Transit with Urban Railway Network

Hanoi shifts from BRT to urban rail, aiming to reduce traffic, improve public transport, and renovate dilapidated housing, showcasing its commitment to a more livable and sustainable city.

Sakchi Khandelwal
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Hanoi Shifts Gears: Replacing Bus Rapid Transit with Urban Railway Network

Hanoi Shifts Gears: Replacing Bus Rapid Transit with Urban Railway Network

Hanoi, the vibrant capital of Vietnam, is undergoing a major transformation in its public transportation system. The city is considering replacing its planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system with an expanded urban railway network to better serve the growing population and alleviate traffic congestion.

According to Duong Duc Tuan, Hanoi's vice chairman, the city aims to build a comprehensive urban railway network spanning 550 kilometers, with 14 lines serving as the backbone of the city's transportation system. This network would connect various land, air, and waterway routes, providing seamless connectivity for commuters.

The decision to shift focus from BRT to urban railways comes as Hanoi faces challenges in implementing its plan to restrict motorbikes in urban districts by 2030. Currently, public transport usage in the city stands at a mere 19.5%, making it difficult to enforce motorbike restrictions. Tuan stated that once the city completes 400 kilometers of railway by 2035, motorbike restrictions would become more feasible.

The existing Kim Ma-Yen Nghia BRT line, which cost over $55 million to construct, has been a subject of controversy. The line occupies a third of the road space and has been criticized for becoming a slow, normal bus route. As part of the city's traffic planning adjustments, the Kim Ma-Yen Nghia BRT line will be replaced by the No. 11 urban railway line.

Why this matters: Hanoi's shift towards an urban railway network represents a significant step in addressing the city's transportation challenges and improving the quality of life for its residents. The expanded railway system has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, lower carbon emissions, and provide a more efficient and reliable mode of public transportation for the growing population.

Hanoi Party Committee Secretary Đinh Tiến Dũng has urged the Ba Đình District's People's Committee to swiftly relocate households from dangerous dilapidated D-level houses by April 2024. The city's party leader stressed the need for timely implementation of plans to renovate and rebuild old apartment buildings in Hà Nội by the second quarter of 2024.

In addition to the transportation upgrades, Hanoi is also focusing on critical infrastructure projects such as the Yên Xá wastewater treatment system. The project, primarily funded by ODA loans from the Japanese Government, aims to help Hanoi achieve a 50-55% urban wastewater treatment rate by 2025. Dũng urged special attention to resolve issues and ensure the plant's timely completion and operational efficiency by 2024.

As Hanoi moves forward with its ambitious plans to modernize its transportation and infrastructure, the city is taking concrete steps to improve the lives of its residents. The replacement of the BRT line with an urban railway and the relocation of households from dilapidated buildings demonstrate the city's commitment to creating a more livable and sustainable urban environment for its growing population.

Key Takeaways

  • Hanoi plans to build a 550km urban railway network to replace the BRT system.
  • Motorbike restrictions by 2030 depend on completing 400km of railway by 2035.
  • Existing BRT line is to be replaced by urban railway line No. 11.
  • Hanoi to relocate households from dilapidated buildings by April 2024.
  • Yên Xá wastewater treatment system to be completed and operational by 2024.