The MTR Corporation announced on Thursday that its much-anticipated HK$17 billion South Island Line will open by the end of the year, despite earlier warnings that construction complications in Admiralty Station would likely cause delays.
Its chairman, Frederick Ma, said his engineering team has worked hard to overcome the many challenges in connecting an additional line to the already busy station.
Besides more tests and drills, Ma said the railway will have to get the go-ahead from the government to open, but "we are confident that we'll get it, and we'll open the line by the end of the year".
However, he said the exact opening date will be announced later. Ticket prices will also be unveiled at a later date.
Projects Director, Philco Wong, said construction of the line was complete, and the testing process was also nearly finished.
The corporation's Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Leong, said he was "very pleased to say that progress has been very good on the South Island Line".
The line will run from Admiralty to Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung, and South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau.
DAB legislator, Ben Chan, who is the Chairman of the Legislative Council's Panel on Transport, said he hopes the new line won't make the already-busy Admiralty Station even more crowded. "I hope the MTR Corporation [will] take more measures to ensure the whole station operates more smoothly", he said.
Transport panel member Wu Chi-wai from the Democratic Party suggested that the railway needs to consider enlarging the platform area so it can accommodate more passengers.
New People's Party lawmaker Michael Tien, who used to chair the Kowloon-Canton Railway, suggested that the MTR Corporation can help thin out the crowds in Admiralty by offering discounted fares from 7:00 to 7:30pm, saying this would “help tremendously.”
Tien said he has also asked Ocean Park to consider extending its opening hours until 8pm, to prevent visitors from the park from flooding into Admiralty during the evening rush hour.
Last updated: 2016-11-10 HKT 18:25