Teito Rapid Transit Authority applied Thursday with the Transport Ministry to build a new subway line linking Shibuya to Ikebukuro via Shinjuku.

The subway authority intends to start construction on the 8.9 km line as early as fiscal 1998 and begin service in fiscal 2007. The project is estimated to cost 240 billion yen.

The line is expected to ease congestion at Ikebukuro, which sees about 1.5 million train passengers a day, according to the subway authority. The subway authority expects some 270,000 passengers per day to use the new line. The project is part of pump-priming measures included in the third supplementary budget for fiscal 1998 drawn up by the government.

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