MTR Corp. has confirmed that the extended line from Admiralty to South Horizons in Southern District via Ocean Park will begin operations by the end of the year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Chairman Frederick Ma said South Island Line (East) has overcome serious technical problems in Admiralty station and completed a two-week test run in early October with satisfactory results.
The actual start date of service and fare details will be announced soon.
In May, the Transport Department said the basic fare will be HK$5.20 for a journey within Hong Kong Island and HK$13.80 from stops on Hong Kong Island to Kowloon East.
The new line is expected to save passengers as much as 50 minutes in travel time.
MTR project director Philco Wong said all the tests and final inspections are almost complete and the company is discussing an opening date with the government.
The line has suffered serious delays since construction began in 2011, pushing back its completion by a year.
South District councilor Lo Kin-hei said MTR should offer fare discounts as a form of compensation for the delay.
He said the company can recoup the cost from residential developments it is allowed to build along the line.
The line, which is about seven kilometers long and includes five stations, cost HK$16.9 billion (US$2.18 billion).
Lawmaker Michael Tien, former chairman of Legislative Council railways subcommittee, said he expects the new line to open on Christmas Day.
To ease crowding in Admiralty Station, he suggested MTR offer reduced fares between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
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