Vietnamese authorities and the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam on Thursday held a ceremony to officially inaugurate the China-constructed Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line project, the first one of the type completed in the Southeast Asian country.

Over the past two months of commercial operation, the metro line transported some 15,000 passengers per day and has welcomed 1 million passengers till Thursday, Nguyen Manh Quyen, vice chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee said at the inauguration ceremony.

"Starting commercial operation on Nov. 6 last year, the trains have run in absolute safety and well implemented the set targets. The project has been also welcomed by a large number of people in the capital as an advanced and modern mode of public transport introduced for the first time in Vietnam," the Hanoi leader said.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway project is the first metro line in the Vietnamese capital city, which is expected to solve the rapidly increasing traffic amount in the western area of Hanoi and contribute to the socio-economic development of the city. Under a city development plan, Hanoi will have a total of 10 urban railway routes by 2030, according to Quyen.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo emphasized that the metro line is a symbolic cooperation project between the two countries in the field of infrastructure to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The inauguration and smooth operation of the railway line is the epitome of the substantive, mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides which is developing steadily," Xiong said, adding that China is willing to join Vietnam in deepening cooperation in key areas, helping Vietnam realize faster development.

Although the number of passengers has decreased recently due to the COVID-19 surge, passengers who have frequent demand such as those go to school and work with monthly tickets are on the rise, according to the project's operators.

Taking a trip to work on Thursday morning, Dao Van Thanh, a 33-year-old passenger from Hanoi's Dong Da district, said using the metro line is now a crucial part of his daily life.

"It helps my traveling far more comfortable these days," Thanh told Xinhua, hoping that more urban railway projects will be constructed to boost connectivity to other parts of the city.

The elevated line is more than 13 km with 12 stations covering three districts. Each train, with a designed speed of 80 km per hour, has four carriages capable of carrying up to 1,000 passengers.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway project officially started construction in October 2011. Its trial run was completed in December 2020, with thousands of trips covering over 70,000 kilometers, enabling the system to operate commercially in late 2021, according to its investors.