The Ho Chi Minh City Metro: Will it ever be complete?

    Sep 05, 2018 @ 02:40 PM / by Eugene Kobiako

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as seen during an AIRINC on-site cost of living survey. Photo taken by Eugene Kobiako.

    Ho Chi Minh City Metro: A brief history

    The HCMC Metro is a rapid transit project that has been in the works since 2001. Over the years, it has attracted international attention due to construction accidents and budgeting issues that have delayed construction of even the first line, which broke ground in 2008. At the time of my survey in the summer of 2018, the first line of the subway was still being constructed and the estimated completion date had been pushed to 2020.


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    Metro Raised Tracks 2-543256-edited

    Photo of raised tracks under construction in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Courtesy of AIRINC surveyor, Eugene Kobiako.

    The On-site Perspective

    Currently, most expatriates in HCMC drive their own cars, hire a driver, or use taxi companies or rideshare applications to get around the city. During my survey, I observed that traffic rules are rarely followed and driving can be difficult, to say the least. Because of this, the subway is a beacon of hope to ease congestion in this ever-expanding metropolis.

    I did see visible progress as I moved about the city and an elevated bridge has already been constructed in District 2. Most expatriates and local sources I spoke to, however, are not optimistic about the project and believe it will be delayed even further, although the Prime Minister recently asked for the project to be accelerated.

    In the meantime, driving around this already difficult city has become more challenging due to the increased amount of idle construction equipment and dusty fences that encircle future metro stations, like the one below.


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    Metro Station Construction 1-445091-edited-574032-edited

    Photo of metro station construction in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Courtesy of AIRINC surveyor, Eugene Kobiako.


    Is Transportation important to you?

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    This post is taken from On-site Insight, AIRINC’s in-house global mobility blog. On-site Insight provides AIRLinc subscribers with an exclusive “behind-the-surveys” insight into new and existing expatriate locations based on commentary and photos from our global research team. Included is information on general living conditions as well as changing costs for both goods and services and housing and utilities, along with much, much more! To find out more, click here

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    Topics: On-site Insight, Insights and Experience, Transportation Data, expatriate transportation, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Eugene Kobiako

    Written by Eugene Kobiako

    Eugene joined AIRINC in 2016 as a surveyor and analyst in the Cambridge office, and is currently a client engagement representative for the Asia-Pacific region. A native of Seattle, he received his B.A. in European Studies and B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington in 2012. During his studies he spent two semesters abroad: one in Copenhagen, Denmark and one in Ottawa, Canada. Prior to AIRINC he has worked for the governments of Mexico and the European Union. He has been to over 80 countries for both business and pleasure. In addition to English he speaks Russian and Spanish fluently as well as some French, Danish, German, Swedish, and some basics in a few other languages. In his free time he plays the guitar and bass guitar, enjoys football (soccer) and hockey, studies foreign languages, and is an avid vexillologist. He is based in Hong Kong as of February 2020.