Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Leong joined more than 1000 passengers for an inaugural journey on the 06.10 service to Tiu Keng Leng.
In addition to the terminus at Whampoa, the underground extension includes one intermediate station at Ho Man Tin, which will become an interchange with the Shatin - Central Link (SCL) when this line opens in 2019. With seven floors, Ho Man Tin will be the largest interchange on the MTR network.
The extension reduces the journey time between Whampoa and Yau Ma Tei to just five minutes, compared with 15-20 minutes for the equivalent bus journey.
During peak hours alternate services terminate at Ho Man Tin, with a four-minute interval service to Whampoa. All off-peak services terminate at Whampoa.
More than 108,000 passengers had used the extension by 17.00 on the first day of operation and Hong Kong’s Transport and Housing Bureau forecasts average daily ridership will be around 180,000.
New rolling stock will be introduced on the Kwun Tong Line from 2018, when a new fleet of CRRC trains will replace the existing first-generation fleet.