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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:39 AM   #2141
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KCRC chief backs rail merger as practical step for survival
20 November 2007
South China Morning Post

Outgoing KCRC chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun has expressed his support for the rail merger, saying it was the only way the 100-year-old rail company could prosper.

Describing the company as "neither ass nor horse", Mr Tien said the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation had to go public to run properly.

"We are under too much public scrutiny because we are a public corporation," he said. "We are doomed because we do not have a clear mission to pursue.

"Criticisms come when you are earning too much and too little. People see us as a welfare agency but the management has the responsibilities to run the company on business principles," said Mr Tien, who will end his six-year reign in the top post when the HK$12 billion merger with the MTR Corp is completed on December 2.

He said the merger would transform the KCRC into part of a public listed company and all parties would benefit.

"The Sha Tin-Central rail line would not be connected to the MTR network if the merger did not happen and it will be a big joke to commuters," Mr Tien said.

The fare adjustment mechanism could also get the new rail corporation out of future fare pricing controversies, he added.

Mr Tien said he did not believe last year's feud that led to the departure of two senior management executives would affect the reputation of KCRC executives in the new merged entity. Only two of the KCRC's five directors will serve on the board of the new entity, and in positions lower than those they now hold.

Mr Tien also said he had never thought of taking up the top post in the new company.

"There is only one chairman in one company and I have never fought for my seat," Mr Tien said.

Speaking of two yet-to-be-launched rail lines, the Sha Tin-Central line and the regional express to link Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Mr Tien said they could be built and run earlier under the new rail operator.

He said the demographic data of the city was continually changing and it was impossible to predict the cost-effectiveness of a new rail line.

"But the government can consider building the tracks first and lease them to the interested parties," Mr Tien said.

"It is the same principle for the government to build the roads and the buses are running on them."
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:21 AM   #2142
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We need those platform gate doors ASAP!

男 子 遭 列 車 輾 成 兩 截
一 名 男 子 昨 午 在 牛 頭 角 地 鐵 站 月 台 跳 下 路 軌 , 慘 遭 埋 站 列 車 輾 過 身 體 , 當 場 被 腰 斬 分 屍 , 死 狀 恐 怖 , 消 防 員 事 後 將 殘 肢 撿 走 , 由 仵 工 移 送 殮 房 , 警 方 調 查 證 實 死 者 患 有 精 神 病 , 相 信 他 是 病 發 自 殺 , 並 無 可 疑 , 但 事 件 令 人 再 次 關 注 架 空 地 鐵 站 月 台 安 裝 幕 門 問 題 , 地 鐵 發 言 人 表 示 正 研 究 安 裝 半 個 人 高 的 幕 門 的 可 行 性 。  

死 者 姓 連 , 31 歲 , 與 家 人 同 住 觀 塘 月 華 街 一 單 位 , 他 的 妻 子 日 前 剛 由 內 地 持 雙 程 證 來 了 香 港 。 據 說 , 連 患 有 精 神 病 , 昨 日 下 午 2 時 半 , 他 離 開 住 所 後 經 由 觀 塘 站 入 閘 乘 搭 地 鐵 向 油 麻 地 方 向 的 列 車 , 連 乘 搭 了 一 個 站 後 在 牛 頭 角 站 下 車 , 並 走 過 前 面 相 反 方 向 的 月 台 。 牛 頭 角 地 鐵 站 月 台 屬 架 空 式 , 沒 有 安 裝 幕 門 。

懷 疑 精 神 病 發 自 殺
約 10 分 鐘 後 , 牛 頭 角 地 鐵 站 月 台 的 目 擊 者 表 示 見 連 在 月 台 近 尾 位 置 , 自 行 走 落 路 軌 上 , 當 時 並 沒 有 列 車 入 站 , 當 候 車 乘 客 不 知 所 措 之 際 , 一 部 列 車 經 已 駛 至 , 車 長 見 路 軌 上 有 人 , 立 即 煞 掣 , 但 經 已 將 事 主 撞 倒 , 並 攔 腰 輾 成 兩 截 被 壓 在 車 底 。
稍 後 消 防 員 到 場 , 安 排 肇 事 列 車 向 前 駛 離 兩 截 屍 體 , 再 由 他 們 將 屍 體 抬 上 月 台 , 仵 工 事 後 將 屍 體 包 裹 移 送 殮 房 。 警 方 調 查 證 實 死 者 患 精 神 病 , 料 因 病 發 自 殺 。 地 鐵 發 言 人 表 示 , 由 於 事 發 後 消 防 員 處 理 需 時 , 其 間 由 彩 虹 站 至 觀 塘 站 服 務 暫 停 , 而 相 反 方 向 行 車 則 延 遲 至 8 分 鐘 一 班 , 直 至 3 時 15 分 始 恢 復 正 常 。

研 究 安 裝 半 身 幕 門
對 於 牛 頭 角 站 月 台 沒 有 安 裝 幕 門 問 題 , 發 言 人 稱 , 地 鐵 目 前 全 港 有 30 個 地 底 車 站 , 共 74 個 月 台 , 全 部 已 於 去 年 安 裝 上 了 幕 門 , 而 架 空 車 站 則 有 8 個 , 共 16 個 月 台 , 他 解 釋 , 架 空 月 台 安 裝 幕 門 在 技 術 上 存 在 困 難 , 因 為 密 封 月 台 要 加 裝 冷 氣 槽 , 車 站 結 構 亦 可 能 有 限 制 。 他 說 , 地 鐵 公 司 正 研 究 在 架 空 月 台 安 裝 約 半 個 人 高 度 , 以 金 屬 和 玻 璃 製 造 的 幕 門 的 可 行 性 。

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Old November 22nd, 2007, 11:48 AM   #2143
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RTHK News:
MTR fare cuts next month

Details from the MTR Website
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #2144
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MTR sets out fare cuts for 2.8m commuters
Rail merger will save passengers 5pc to 35pc on tickets

23 November 2007
South China Morning Post

As many as 2.8 million rail commuters a day can expect savings of between 5 per cent and 35 per cent in fares from December 2 when the long-awaited merger of Hong Kong's two rail services takes effect.

Details of the fare discounts, a crucial selling point for the merger, were announced yesterday by the MTR Corporation.

Long-distance commuters travelling on Octopus cards, who need to change train systems, will see the biggest savings under the new fare structure. For most travellers, the discount will range from 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

The fare cuts had been promised as a condition for the rail merger. The corporation has also undertaken not to increase fares before June 2009.

Fare reductions will not, however, apply to the Airport Express, journeys to and from Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau, and Light Rail.

The new fare structure received a mixed reaction from commuters. Some said it was unfair to passengers on short journeys; others said the fare reduction would ease their transport costs.

But public light bus and public bus operators expressed concerns about increased competition.

The highest fare cut will be enjoyed by an Octopus card user travelling from Tin Shui Wai to Sha Tin, taking West Rail, changing to the MTR and then East Rail. This journey will cost HK$15.10, a saving of HK$8.20, or 35.2 per cent, from the current fare.

With the so-called "interchange fare concession", a trip from Ma On Shan to Yau Ma Tei, taking the KCR and changing to the MTR, will cost HK$8.60 instead of HK$12.80.

But those taking the same journey on single trip tickets may need to wait for another year to enjoy the "interchange fare concession" because of "technical issues with the ticket gates" at interchange stations at Kowloon Tong, Mei Foo, Nam Cheong and East Tsim Sha Tsui.

But the corporation maintained the new arrangements should benefit most rail commuters because more than 90 per cent of them were Octopus card users.

A spokeswoman for Kowloon Motor Bus said the company would consider improving services to attract passengers.

Asked if KMB would withdraw its earlier application for a fare rise, she said the company was still awaiting a reply from the government.

Leung Hung, chairman of the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Public and Maxicab Light Bus Merchants United Association, feared buses would not be able to compete.

"We had planned to increase fares in the wake of the surging fuel prices, but now we won't even think about it," Mr Leung said.

Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, who chairs the Legislative Council panel on transport, accused the corporation of trying to play with figures to paint a picture of huge savings for commuters.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong welcomed the fare reduction. Legislator Cheung Hok-ming called for Light Rail fares to be cut as well. He urged the MTR Corp to take into account people's ability to pay when considering adjusting fares.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:56 AM   #2145
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HK Gov't Gazette:
MTR Vesting Notice

Mass Transit Railway (Cross-Boundary Restricted Area) Notice
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Old November 26th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #2146
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KCRC scraps discounts for bus patrons to boost West Rail sales
24 November 2007
South China Morning Post

The KCRC is scrapping subsidies for bus passengers introduced two years ago to boost patronage of its West Rail line. As a result, Citybus will raise fares on three routes from next month.

The announcement came a day after the MTR Corporation revealed the fare discounts most passengers will enjoy when the two rail companies' operations merge next month.

A spokesman for the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation would not say whether the scrapping of subsidies was linked to the merger.

Passengers on the 701, 702, and 971 routes enjoy a HK$1.50 discount when they take a West Rail train to or from Nam Cheong station in West Kowloon.

The 701, 702, and 971 routes run between Nam Cheong and Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Aberdeen, respectively.

The discount will cease to apply from next Saturday.

A Citybus spokeswoman said the fare concession was being scrapped because it had largely been funded by the KCRC's subsidy.

KMB offers similar discounts on some routes to passengers who interchange with KCR services. A Kowloon Motor Bus spokesman said it had no plans to cancel these concessions.

A KCRC spokesman said it had taken many factors into account in deciding whether or not to continue the promotional fare, including the benefits to passengers and the company.

With the KCRC days away from ending its role as a train operator, it yesterday launched a book, A Century of Commitment - the KCRC Story.

Speaking at its launch, KCRC chief executive officer James Blake said: "The book gives a fascinating account of the history of the KCR over nearly a century, detailing the successes it has achieved, the network it has expanded and the historic moments it has participated in."

A selection of pictures from the book is on display at East Tsim Sha Tsui station.

The government-owned corporation has also donated more than 70 items of historical interest to the Railway Museum at Tai Po. They include a sketch of the steel bridge at Lo Wu drawn in 1909; a plaque from the KCR British Section head office, which hung in the old Tsim Sha Tsui terminus from 1916 to 1975; and staff rule books from 1946 and 1977.

It is also selling souvenirs, with proceeds to go to the Community Chest charity. The sale will take place at East Tsim Sha Tsui station today and tomorrow from midday to 6pm.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #2147
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MTR fare cut points to challenges ahead
23 November 2007
South China Morning Post

Merging our city's two railway services involves a myriad of complex investment and public policy decisions. But for most people, its key selling point was the promise of substantial fare reductions. This promise was finally delivered yesterday.

The cuts are especially big for long- and medium-distance commuters, who will see fares reduced by at least 10 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. The longest routes will have reductions of up to 35 per cent. Even the lowest current fares will fall by 20 cents, while boarding charges - for passengers switching from one rail system to another - will be scrapped. At a time of rising costs, as inflation hit 3.2 per cent last month, commuters have been guaranteed that the reduced fares will stay in place until at least June 2009.

The new fares will likely satisfy the public, something demanded of the new MTR Corporation by its majority shareowner, the government. The challenge ahead, therefore, is for the publicly listed rail operator to placate another key constituency, its minority shareholders. These will not be so easily satisfied, and a viable, long-term profit growth strategy is necessary.

The steep fare cuts mean the merged rail giant will forgo an estimated HK$600 million a year in revenue. Furthermore, it will no longer be able to adjust fares independently. Instead, fares can only be changed according to a formula based on a basket of indicators such as inflation, wages and productivity. The MTR Corp has also promised not to make staff cuts; there will be voluntary redundancies only. Legitimate questions have therefore been raised by critics of the merger, with some warning that the corporation's cash flow will be impeded in the next few years as a result.

Clearly, the MTR Corp hopes to find profit growth in the city's property development and investment, especially from a strong portfolio of property sites it has obtained from the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation as part of the deal. This will be coupled with expansions across the border by exploiting existing KCR services and facilities on the mainland. This two-pronged growth strategy is one of great promise, but it also poses many difficulties and challenges.

For now, the MTR Corp can expect substantially increased streams of income from shopping malls, offices, and development rights of station properties owned by the KCRC. But the local property market is closely tied to the stock market, which has recently suffered extreme volatility, something that is not expected to go away any time soon. A steep market correction or a crash would have a significantly negative impact on the rail operator at this delicate, transitional time.

The MTR Corp has planned rail and property projects in Shenzhen and Beijing. Since many other major mainland cities have insufficient rail services, there are many expansion opportunities. However, it has been mainland official policy to keep fares low. This would have an impact on how much the MTR could charge there in future, even though its charges would not be directly subject to mainland fare directives.

As a transport utility and a listed company, the MTR Corp has always had to balance different, even opposing, interests. The situation will be even tougher for the new merged entity, which also has to prove it can maintain and expand its justly praised world-class and efficient rail service. This is, by any measure, a tall order. Much is at stake, including Hong Kong's international image. The MTR Corp must now prove it can rise to the challenge.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #2148
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兩鐵合併後 詹伯樂留任
30/11/2007
東方日報

【 記 者 劉 偉 權 報 道 】 兩 鐵 合 併 後 日 正 式 生 效 , 地 鐵 會 代 九 廣 鐵 路 營 運 九 鐵 的 鐵 路 網 絡 , 現 有 的 九 鐵 公 司 會 變 成 一 間 有 名 無 實 的 空 殼 公 司 , 做 收 租 佬 定 期 向 港 鐵 收 取 租 金 。 合 併 當 日 , 逾 六 千 名 九 鐵 僱 員 大 部 分 會 過 檔 到 合 併 後 的 香 港 鐵 路 公 司 , 原 本 「 無 得 留 低 」 的 九 鐵 行 政 總 裁 詹 伯 樂 卻 獲 港 府 垂 青 , 繼 續 委 派 他 在 九 鐵 做 「 話 事 人 」 , 但 手 下 卻 減 至 只 有 十 多 人 。

拒 透 露 新 崗 位 職 能
兩 鐵 合 併 後 , 九 鐵 管 理 局 會 改 組 , 成 員 人 數 由 十 一 人 減 至 只 有 四 至 八 人 。 合 併 後 的 九 鐵 會 變 成 只 擁 有 鐵 路 及 物 業 資 產 的 空 殼 公 司 , 自 此 不再 具 任 何 營 運 鐵 路 職 能 , 只 保 留 行 政 、 會 計 及 庫 務 職 能 , 專 心 向 港 鐵 「 收 租 」 。 消息 指 , 為 穩 定 兩 鐵 軍 心 及 減 低 合 併 過 渡 期 出 現 混 亂 風 險 , 九 鐵 會 安 排 詹 伯 樂 繼 續 留 任 九 鐵 話 事 人 一 職 , 但 卻 不 透 露 其 新 崗 位 具 體 職 能 。

港 府 安 排 詹 伯 樂 這 位 前 朝 元 老 出 任 九 鐵 閒 職 , 可 藉 此 「 報 答 」 其 平 亂 有 功 。 據 悉 ,詹 亦 對 有 關 工 作 感 興 趣 。 人 稱 「 尖 不 甩 」 的 詹 伯 樂 現 年 七 十 三 歲 , ○ 二 年 擔 任 九 鐵新 鐵 路 高 級 工 程 總 監 期 間 , 發 生 賠 款 予 「 西 門 子 事 件 」 後 黯 然 離 開 九 鐵 。 去 年 九 鐵 管 理 層 爆 出 兵 變 事 件 後 , 特 首 曾 蔭 權 邀 他 回九 鐵 控 制 大 局 , 給 他 一 個 將 功 補 過 機 會 。 港 府 及 九 鐵 對 詹 伯 樂 未 來 的 崗 位 及 職 責 諱莫 如 深 , 運 輸 及 房 屋 局 拒 絕 評 論 詹 的 新 職 位 , 只 謂 兩 鐵 合 併 時 , 地 鐵 及 九 鐵 全 體 在職 員 工 將 受 聘 於 香 港 鐵 路 公 司 , 合 併 後 九 鐵 公 司 的 管 理 層 任 免 , 會 由 該 公 司 管 理 局 決 定 。 九 鐵 發 言 人 未 有 回 應 詹 伯 樂 的 去 向 。

根 據 兩 鐵 合 併 條 例 , 九 鐵 管 理 局 只 會 保 留 四 至 八 名 成 員 , 且 全 部 由 政 府 官 員 出 任 ,當 中 包 括 財 經 事 務 及 庫 務 局 局 長 陳 家 強 、 運 輸 及 房 屋 局 局 長 鄭 汝 樺 等 。
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 02:57 AM   #2149
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Do we have a picture of the new lighting system for the route map yet? Are they switching to individual lines to fit the space?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 04:41 AM   #2150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicytimothy View Post
Do we have a picture of the new lighting system for the route map yet? Are they switching to individual lines to fit the space?
The new lighting maps do not contain the entire KCR network, but all that could fit on the existing map. Then beside it on the overhead panel they have the whole thing without lights.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:17 AM   #2151
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Are the onboard announcements changing?
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 03:19 PM   #2152
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Unified railway network starts operation in Hong Kong


HONG KONG, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The merger of the only two railway companies in Hong Kong became effective on Sunday with the operation of a unified railway network.

The merger of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) with the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) was an important milestone in the railway development of Hong Kong, said Henry Tang, chief secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, at a ceremony here marking the event.

He said the merger will create synergy and enhance economic effectiveness, benefiting 2.8-million daily rail passenger trips with a fare reduction from the first day of the merger.

The new railway service started at 05:28 a.m. local time Sunday when the first train with MTR logo departed at East Tsim Sha Tsui Station.

Staff and contractors worked through Saturday night to switch over about 150,000 signs for the new service while train-lovers jammed some KCR station courses to take pictures for memory.

The merged network, being operated by the MTR Corporation, comprises nine heavy rail commuter lines, the Light Rail System in the Northwest New Territories and the premium Airport Express.

The network is an important backbone of Hong Kong's transport system as it accounts for about 40 percent of all public transport journeys made in Hong Kong each day. The total route length of the railway lines is 211.6 kilometers.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:30 PM   #2153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanleycup View Post
Are the onboard announcements changing?
Yes, heard some changes, such as transferring to Ma On Shan Line rather than Ma On Shan Railway.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 06:43 PM   #2154
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Hey, they've finally truly merged, let's hope it has lot's of positive effects.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #2155
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Fares glitch derails MTR's big switch
4 December 2007
Hong Kong Standard

The MTR Corp's merger sweetener of fare reductions went sour for passengers using wide gates at the busiest MTR and former KCR transfer station yesterday.

A glitch at Kowloon Tong failed to discount as many as half of passengers' fares after they transferred from the Kwun Tong green line through the luggage and wheelchair gates to the former Kowloon Canton Railway East Rail station and Ma On Shan lines.

Of 250 journeys made through the wide gates at Kowloon Tong from Sunday to yesterday afternoon, 91 complaints of overcharging had been lodged before the gates were taken offline.

The rail operator responded by closing two wide gates at Kowloon Tong while suspending wide-gate operations at Mei Foo and Tsim Sha Tsui stations as a precaution.

An MTR spokesperson said the problem was not caused by Octopus stored-value cards.

He said passengers who found they were short changed while transferring at the affected routes should contact station staff to receive a complimentary single journey ticket as compensation.

MTR engineers have identified the problem, and the glitch is expected to be fixed within the week.

Passengers with luggage or wheelchairs are advised to ask station staff for assistance when entering and exiting paid areas.

Excluding the light rail, 3.22 million passengers traveled on the newly merged rail system yesterday compared with 3.01 million last Sunday.

The merger between the MTR and the 98-year-old KCRC combines 82 stations and 239.5 kilometers of track, making it the territory's exclusive rail service provider under the name MTR Corp.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 05:34 PM   #2156
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New MTR Commercial Post-Merger

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Old December 5th, 2007, 08:04 AM   #2157
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MTR in lead as new rail era begins
3 December 2007
Hong Kong Standard

Yesterday's 5.28am departure of the Mass Transit Railway train from East Tsim Sha Tsui station opened a new chapter in Hong Kong's railway history.

The MTR and Kowloon-Canton Railway corporations officially merged yesterday to become the city's only railway service provider under the name of MTR Corp.

The company's nine heavy rail lines, the Airport Express and the Light Rail will make up a comprehensive transport network.

By 9pm, 2.8 million passengers had ridden on the two rails, compared with 2.9 million for the whole of last Sunday.

Speaking at a ceremony at Nam Cheong Station yesterday to mark the change, MTRC chairman Raymond Ch'ien Kuo-fung said he had waited three years for the plan to come true.

Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-yen said the MTR and the KCR were both renowned for their excellent railway services.

The first job of the post-merger MTRC was to reduce fares.

Starting yesterday, 2.8 million passengers using Octopus cards will enjoy fare cuts ranging from 20 cents to HK$8.20 when riding on all lines with the exception of the Light Rail and Airport Express.

But the MTR has no plan to expand its discounted rates for students to those riding on former KCR lines.

Kowloon Motor Bus, serving 2.8 million passengers daily, launched its own fare concession campaign yesterday. The offers will also benefit Octopus card users who make seven connecting trips covering 21 routes. They can enjoy fare reductions of up to HK$3.50 a trip. The KMB's management has denied the fare cuts were made in response to the MTR reductions.

The MTRC assigned more than 200 assistants to answer passengers' inquires at all of its 82 stations. They also used computers to quote fares for passengers at four major interchange stations _ Kowloon Tong, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Mei Foo and Nam Cheong.

Chan Ting-nam, an assistant at Kowloon Tong, said passengers were mainly concerned whether they could enjoy cheaper fares when transferring from Yau Ma Tei-Tiu Keng Leng line to the East Rail Line as they have to go through two gates. Interchange gates at Kowloon Tong, Mei Foo and Nam Cheong will be removed next year.

Holders of the old student Octopus cards, which are purple in color, were reminded to switch to personal Octopus cards as an extra amount might be deducted due to a new software recognition problem. The company estimates up to 800 users may be affected though they can get refunds at customer service centers.

Some railway fans took their last chance early yesterday to pay their last tributes to the century-old railway system that once operated steam trains. Many waited for the last KCR train departing from Lo Wu at 12.30am at the Sheung Shui station.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #2158
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Has the signage been changed, or is it still the original signage?
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Old December 5th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #2159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
Has the signage been changed, or is it still the original signage?
Partial change ... some signs are still old, but a lot of them have changed to new.

Big KCR sign gone, but small blue sign not changed yet.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #2160
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Don't remember if someone already mentioned this before, but apparently MTR/KCR's new name is 港鐵. Before it was 地鐵
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