A 2.6-kilometer extension to the MTR Kwun Tong Line is expected to open in the third or fourth quarter.
The Kwun Tong Line Extension will have two new stations in Ho Man Tin and Whampoa, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The Transport and Housing Bureau said the new line saves time and, in some cases, money.
For instance, the journey from Whampoa to Lok Fu will be about 16 minutes and the fare is HK$8.
That saves up to 43 minutes in travel time on the No. 8 bus route but is about two-thirds more expensive.
Travel from Whampoa to Ho Man Tin will take three minutes and cost HK$4.40, cheaper and faster than the No. 8 bus route, Ming Pao Daily reports.
It will take five to 10 minutes to travel from Whampoa to Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok and Prince Edward on the MTR, which compares favourably with vehicle transport time which is 20 to 25 minutes longer.
A new public transport plan will be phased in after the launch of the Kwun Tong Line Extension, the Transport Department said.
It includes adding four franchised minibus routes connecting Ho Man Tin and Whampoa stations, cutting the frequency on 33 bus routes and 13 minibus routes and scrapping bus route 212 and franchised minibus route No. 7.
Kowloon City district councilor Kwong Po-yin said fares on the Kwun Tong Line Extension are comparatively expensive given that passengers can travel from Prince Edward to Kwun Tong for HK$8.20 on the MTR now and from Whampoa to Lok Fu on the new extension.
Kwong said the new extension gives commuters one more option but it is no substitute for the point-to-point service of franchised buses.
District councilor Cheung Yan-hong said the Transport Department should wait at least six months after the Kwun Tong Line Extension becomes operational before rolling out any public transport reorganization plan.
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