Hanoi plans to spend VND14.5 billion ($625,000) each year on subsidizing tickets for its first metro line.
Capital city authorities said Hanoi plans to give free tickets to people with disabilities, children under six or people who made notable contributions in wartime on the Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line, which is set to open this month.
A 50 percent discount will be given to students, industrial workers and senior citizens, and a 30 percent discount to businesses that buy tickets in bulk for their employees.
With an average ticket price of VND10,000 (43 cents), and discounts estimated to apply to 12 percent of total passengers, the value of annual subsidies has been estimated at around VND14.5 billion.
The city had earlier proposed that it provides free tickets to all passengers within the first 15 days of commercial operations.
The maximum fare on the first metro line will be VND15,000 (65 cents), and the minimum, VND8,000 (34 cents).
Passengers can also buy monthly season tickets for VND200,000 ($8.61) or daily tickets for VND30,000 ($1.29), both allowing unlimited trips.
These proposed fares are an introductory offer and will be increased later, officials have said.
Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.
The original estimated cost of $553 million also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.
The metro runs 13 kilometers through 12 stations from the Yen Nghia Station in the southwest Ha Dong District to Cat Linh Station downtown. There is a 3-to-5-minute waiting period between each trip.