Hong Kong's newest MTR line will be fully operational from June 27, the government announced on Friday.
While part of the Tuen Ma Line opened last year, the latest extension will see the opening of two new stations, To Kwa Wan and Sung Wong Toi.
The West Rail Line will connect to the Ma On Shan Line at Hung Hom Station, forming the new 56-kilometre line, complete with 27 stations stretching from Tuen Mun to Wu Kai Sha.
A trip from To Kwa Wan to Tsim Sha Tsui East will cost HK$5.6 and take around nine minutes, while To Kwa Wan to Central will cost HK$12.5 and take about 20 minutes.
Adult passengers going in and out of four stations on the Tuen Ma Line will enjoy a HK$1 discount until the end of the year, while children and the elderly will get 50 cents off.
The MTRC said it is introducing a new "car loading indicator" for the line. Passengers will be able to tell how full the train carriages are when they arrive at platforms of Tai Wai Station.
There will be a colour scheme, with "red" meaning a carriage is full, and "green" showing there's still space.
The railway company said the new line also has its own robots, to help direct passengers with pushchairs to take a lift, and to help train staff resolve any ticketing issues.
Transport Secretary Frank Chan said testing had been completed on the line and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department had given the go-ahead for it to fully open.
“Both the government and the MTR Corporation have been working very hard during the past year with the view to commissioning the Tuen Ma Line as soon as possible,” he said.
“We appreciate very much the expectation of the people who are looking forward to take a ride on this particular new line because it connects to four other railway lines providing flexibility, convenience and also saving in time,” he said.
There were mixed reactions to the upcoming opening of the line among people who live or work near Sung Wong Toi MTR Station.
One woman, surnamed Wong, said she didn’t feel strongly about the opening of the station because the existing bus and minibus routes are convenient enough. She urged the government not to slash those routes in future, saying some people rely heavily on those services.
Another woman, surnamed Tsang, told RTHK that she had been working in an education centre in the area for around five years, and will continue to take the bus to work despite the added option.
“I live in Tseung Kwan O and it’s just more convenient for me to take a bus to work,” she said.
Others, however, were excited about the new line.
Chemy Yip, a beauty parlour owner, said the opening of the station would be good for business and could bring in more visitors to enjoy the "To Kwa Wan culture".
Another man who works at the HSBC Centre in Tai Kok Tsui, also told RTHK that he looks forward to taking the MTR to work in future.
"If there's an MTR, my commute will reduce for 20 minutes, so it would be very awesome. It's very good news that they're opening it for the end of June,” he said.
Last updated: 2021-05-28 HKT 17:22