All aboard! MTR today confirmed that the much anticipated South Island Line will commence operating on December 28 this year. The $16.9b project connects commuters to from Admiralty to Ap Lei Chau's South Horizons via stations at Wong Chuk Hang, Ocean Park and Lei Tung, and all with state-of-the-art driverless trains. The journey from start to end will take 11 minutes and cost $6.70. The Admiralty to Ocean Park sector will take all of four minutes for a fare of $5.30, so you can say goodbye to tunnel charges for good. There's also an open day on December 24 for those wanting to get a sneak peek of the shiny new stations.
While we applaud any way to better connect our city, it'll be interesting to see how this new opening affects the state of play at Admiralty station. It's probably not a stretch to say that Hongkongers have a love/hate relationship with the more central of the island-to-Kowloon links, with waiting times at peak hour among the highest in the city. Another line connecting to another part of the city could see the already jam-packed concourses turn into MTR-mageddon, especially now that it's a faster and more direct link to Ocean Park. Perhaps in addition to minding the gap, commuters should also be cautioned to mind the prams. You've been warned.