Hong Kong’s long-awaited new MTR station, the city’s largest, draws crowds but is it too large?

Passenger complains of long walk to reach his platform at the seven-storey Ho Man Tin complex

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 October, 2016, 6:32pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 October, 2016, 11:36pm

Commuters expecting better accessibility when the new Ho Man Tin MTR station opens on October 23 complained they would still face problems as they inspected facilities for the first time at an open day on Saturday.

A Mr Pang, who lives on Oi Man Estate, said: “The station is too big. I still have to spend four, five minutes to reach the platform after I arrive.”

That was on the top of the 10 minutes it took him to walk to the station from his home, he said.

Ho Man Tin station is one of the two new stations on the 2.6km Kwun Tong Line Extension. The project, originally scheduled to open in August last year, will run from Yau Ma Tei to Whampoa, the line’s new terminus, with one station in between at Ho Man Tin.

According to the MTR Corporation, Ho Man Tin station, with seven floors in total, will be the biggest in the city until Admiralty station takes its place on completion of the Sha Tin to Central Link. Ho Man Tin station will serve as an interchange when that link opens.

Pang said: “I think it will be hugely beneficial to those who always travel along the Kwun Tong Line. But it is still good on public holidays because I can avoid traffic jams.”

James Poon Kai-cheong, 26, who attends evening courses at the Open University, timed himself walking from the university to the station. “It was an exhausting 15-minute walk, but if I take the minibus after coming out of the MTR station I will feel rather stupid and it is a waste of money.”

A retired couple surnamed Lam, Hung Hom residents for 40 years, were “relieved and happy” that the station was opening next week as one of the exits was just two streets away from their home.

“We have always taken buses and minibuses, but it’s difficult to predict travelling time because sometimes they arrive at different time intervals and sometimes they are too full,” Mr Lam said.

The couple, who said they travelled to Nathan Road regularly to meet friends, expected their trips to be halved to just 15 minutes by MTR.

People travelling from Whampoa to Sham Shui Po will save an estimated 28 minutes, but the trip will cost about HK$1.40 more than the bus.

The MTR Corp said 3,600 people visited from 2pm to 5pm during the open day.