Two subway lines to Guangzhou's suburbs, which will make travel easier for some Hongkongers who own properties in the city, were officially opened yesterday. One of the new routes - the 36km Line Three on the Guangzhou Metro - connects the downtown Tianhe district transport centre with Panyu Square in Shiqiao, Panyu district. The other new route is the 46km Line 4 from Guangzhou Olympic Sports Centre in the city's east to Nansha, a coastal district where the late Fok Ying-tung built a ferry terminal with services to Hong Kong. Part of the line has yet to open. Line Three will cut travel times between Panyu and Guangzhou East Station - the terminal for through-trains to Hong Kong - to less than 30 minutes. According to the Metro company, this compares with 90 minutes by road. Although Line Four will also make things easier for Hong Kong travellers, there are no plans to extend the line, which ends several kilometres short of the ferry terminal. 'The new lines will provide convenience to some Hongkongers here,' said Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning , who rode on the new line yesterday. He said the new lines would also boost the development of Guangzhou's southern regions. Officially opened at 2pm, the lines were used by mostly Panyu residents eager to test the service. The battle for places on the train at the Panyu Square station resulted in some elderly people being pushed to the floor. 'The subway is a great thing,' said 65-year-old Panyu resident Li Zhenhai , who has been living in the district for 33 years. 'I will go to Guangzhou's city centre more often now.' Guangzhou began building its subway system in 1993. It has four lines with a total track distance of 116km and carries 800,000 passengers a day. The city will open five more lines and double the total track distance by 2010, including a line to Foshan and another to the city's new airport.