Vietnam has rapidly developed its metro rail system in recent years with several upcoming projects under way and others in the planning stages. One of the main factors driving Vietnam’s metro rail development is the country’s rapidly growing population and urbanisation. As the population has increased, so has the demand for efficient and convenient public transportation. To address this demand, the government is investing heavily in metro rail systems, with several projects under way and more in the planning stages.

Most recently, in its National Strategy on Climate Change, Vietnam announced a 43.5 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030, achieving net zero by 2050. Vietnam has set an ambitious target for metro rail expansion in the future. The government plans to continue investing heavily in metro rail systems as a key component of its strategy to expand public transportation infrastructure. One of the targets is to have a total of 10 metro lines in operation by 2030 with a combined length of over 670 km. Additionally, the government plans to expand the existing metro systems in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and to develop new systems in other major cities such as Danang and Haiphong.The aim is to provide efficient and convenient public transportation options to the growing urban population and reduce reliance on private cars and fossil fuels.

Ho Chi Minh City metro

HCMC Metro Line 1, also known as Ben Thanh-Bac Ma, is the first upcoming operational metro line in Vietnam. The line will be19.7 km long with 12 stations starting at Ben Thanh market and ending in the western suburb of District 2, connecting the major districts of the city. Recent developments in Metro Line 1 include the completion of tracklaying, power supply works, and the start of railway track installation. The construction of the signalling and train control systems is underway at the stations and is expected to be completed soon. As of April 2023, more than 94.6 per cent of the work on the project has been completed; revenue service is expected to begin by the end of 2023, according to the HCMC Urban Railway Management Board’s.

The project is being funded by the Vietnamese government and international financing agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The project entails a total investment of VND 43,700 billion.

At present, the line is still under construction with some parts of the project delayed due to a variety of issues, including land acquisition, funding, and technical challenges. However, there have been recent developments, including the completion of the metro trains and the installation of rails along certain sections of the line. HCMC is preparing to build its second metro line, HCMC Metro Line 2. The proposed line will be approximately 32 km long, comprising 19 stations. This metro line is set to be launched in 2026, and is expected to significantly enhance the city’s public transportation system, making travel more convenient for locals.

Hanoi metro line project

The Hanoi metro rail system is a significant development in Vietnam’s transportation infrastructure. Hanoi Metro Line 1, also known as the Yellow Line, has already begun operations and has been used by over 7.2 million passengers since its inception in 2022. In November 2022, the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport and French company Alstom signed a contract for the supply of rolling stock and equipment to operate the trains. Furthermore, in December 2022, the Vietnamese government approved the second phase of the project, consisting of two new lines, and in January 2023, the process of selecting a contractor for the first phase of construction began. Construction for the first phase of Line 2 is expected to begin in the second half of 2023. The line is expected to be operational by 2028 and will have interchanges with other modes of transportation such as buses and taxis, enhancing the city’s public transportation capacity and accessibility for residents. Hanoi Metro Line 3 is also in the planning stages and will connect the city’s southern and northern areas.


The Haiphong Metro Line 1 project is a proposed 17 km long metro line in Haiphong, a major city in the northern region of Vietnam. The line is expected to have 12 stations and will serve as a crucial component of the city’s public transportation system. The line will begin in the city centre and pass through major districts, ultimately reaching the eastern part of the city. The project also includes plans for interchanges with other modes of transportation, such as buses and taxis, to enhance connectivity. It is expected to be operational by 2027 and will greatly improve public transportation efficiency and accessibility in Haiphong. The Haiphong Metro Line 1 project is expected to provide significant economic benefits, including the creation of thousands of jobs, and boost the city’s economy. The project will also greatly improve transportation options for Haiphong residents, providing much-needed improvement to the current transportation network.

In recent developments, the Vietnamese government has approved the construction of the Cat Linh-Haiphong Metro Railway, a 22.9 km long line with 17 stations, as a joint venture between the Vietnam Railways Corporation and China Railway International Corporation. It aims to reduce traffic congestion in the city and improve the overall transportation network. Plans are also in place for the construction of several additional lines in the future to further enhance the city’s transportation system.

Challenges for Vietnam’s metro rail sector

Vietnam’s metro rail sector faces two main challenges – funding and technical expertise. Private investment is seen as a key component of funding, while partnerships with foreign companies and local worker training are solutions for the technical expertise issue. Although the high cost of construction and maintenance can be a barrier to further expansion and development, Vietnam’s rapid economic growth and urbanisation mean that there is growing demand for efficient and reliable public transportation, and metro rail is seen as a key solution to this problem.

Future vision and targets

Vietnam has set ambitious targets for the development of metro rail systems in the country. The government’s vision is to create a modern and efficient public transportation network that meets the needs of the growing population and supports sustainable economic development. With continued investment in the sector and the development of new projects, the country is on track to achieve its targets and realise its vision for a modern and efficient public transportation network. „