Hong Kong’s rail network will reach all 18 districts of the territory when MTR Corp. Ltd. opens the South Island Line on Dec. 28.
Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen, the company’s chief executive, said the new railway line, aside from adding to the convenience of commuters, is expected to contribute to the development of Southern District, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
In a bid to help commuters get accustomed to the operation of the new stations, MTR will open the five new stations to the public on Dec. 24, allowing interested individuals to explore Admiralty, Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizon stations.
Leong said the company has chosen Dec. 28 to start the service because that is after the Christmas holidays and before the New Year, with fewer people expected to use the train service as schools are still on a break.
MTR operations director Lau Tin-shing said with the opening of the South Island Line, more people will be using the Admiralty Station, thus requiring more crowd control during rush hours.
During rush hours, trains along the line will arrive every three minutes to cope with the volume of commuter traffic.
However, it is understood that all other MTR lines have already reached their maximum capacity for rush hours, including the Island Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Tung Chung Line, Tseung Kwan O line, Disney Line, East Rail Line, Ma On Shan Line, and the West Rail Line.
The Admiralty Station will now become the station with the most transit lines.
Aside from the Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line and the upcoming South Island Line, the future Sha Tin to Central Link would also use Admiralty as a transit station.
The Admiralty Station has been expanded to six levels from its previous three, and the entire surface area has doubled to 65,000 square meters.
To provide more space for commuters at the stations, MTR has removed several engine rooms along the line toward Kennedy Town and the Tsuen Wan Line platforms.
Budget for the Admiralty Station expansion comes from the Sha Tin to Central Link construction fund, with the Legislative Council having approved an allocation of HK$3.35 billion.
An additional HK$850 million budget will have to be approved.
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