MTR’s new South Island Line (East) began operations on Wednesday after a delay, marking the first time the rail network has reached all 18 districts.
Commuters joined hundreds of passengers who waited in line to experience the service which takes just 11 minutes from Admiralty to South Horizons via Ocean Park on the 7.4-kilometer line, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
A man who commutes to Wan Chai from South Horizons every day for work said he used to spend nearly half an hour on a bus.
But he said the three cars in each train might not be enough to handle passenger traffic during rush hour.
The new line saw more than 92,000 users as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The trains run every two minutes during the busiest hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
With Admiralty now home to the biggest MTR station with the new line, the building is being expanded to six levels from three.
The newly added L4, L5 and L6 are used as transfer hall, platform for the Sha Tin to Central Link that is set to open in 2018, and the new SILE platform, respectively.
That means passengers need to go down as many as six floors using different escalators before they can take SILE trains, taking about three to five minutes.
Some passengers have complained that the design is troublesome.
MTR operations director Lau Tin-shing said each of the four lines that merge in Admiralty Station has its own color coding. The one for SILE is green as opposed to blue for the Island Line and red for the Tsuen Wan Line.
Meanwhile, bus operators said the new line have had an impact on their business.
Citybus Route 629 that runs daily between MTR Admiralty Station and the Ocean Park saw fewer passengers on Wednesday.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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