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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:34 AM   #3021
hkskyline
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MTR delays down last year but more than in pre-merger times
28 August 2010
South China Morning Post

The number of MTR service delays recorded last year was down on that in 2008, but delays were still far more frequent than when two companies ran the railways.

There were 47 service delays lasting 15 to 30 minutes in 2009, down from the previous year's 56, according to a Transport and Housing Bureau paper submitted to the Legislative Council yesterday.

Of these incidents, 25 were related to infrastructure maintenance, rolling-stock failure and human factors, compared to 38 in 2008. The rest were caused by passenger action or external events, such as a fallen tree.

Despite the improvement, delays were still far more frequent than in the years before the MTR merged with the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation in 2007. Only 22 to 35 incidents were recorded each year between 2005 and 2007.

Six delays of more than an hour were recorded last year, compared with five in 2008, and one to two each year before the merger.

The longer delays included a service halt during morning rush hour in January. A data transmission operator made a mistake while running a computer programme as he inspected a data network for the East Rail Line, disabling centralised monitoring of trains along the line.

Train services from Hung Hom to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau stopped between 7.20pm and 8.20pm that day.

The paper released yesterday, as requested by lawmakers, was supplementary to one in March that detailed shorter delays.

Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, deputy chairman of Legco's transport panel, said although no correlation could be made between the merger and the increase in delays, he had received anonymous complaints that the MTR had pooled resources and staff since the merger, resulting in lower-quality maintenance.

"The complainants said frontline staff have shared more workload and more maintenance jobs are outsourced," Cheng said. "Rail-track inspections are conducted more often by sight, which is sometimes roughly done."

The lawmaker said he was worried there was little monitoring of the company's service.

A spokesman for the MTR did not explain the above figures but instead provided another set of figures, released in March, which were aggregates of delays of different durations, including ones lasting for more than 8 minutes.

He said the total number of delays had reduced from 329 in 2005 to 246 in 2009, a drop of 25.2 per cent.

"The majority of the delays were below 30 minutes, with minimal service impact," he said.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #3022
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Old October 5th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #3023
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The newest TV commercial 2010 "MTR caring for your new journeys"




Ever since the first railway was built in Hong Kong the network has become an integral part of the lives of Hong Kong citizens. Over the years, MTR has been striving to build a world-class railway network, to develop and grow communities as well as to boost Hong Kong's economy through this key infrastructure. In the Corporation's latest TV commercial, we have taken you back to the 70's, using the golden classic - "Under the Lion Rock" as the background music, to recollect the memories of many Hong Kong citizens who grew up with the development of the railway. In the stories of Auntie Wong, Dr. Lee, Mr. Ho and Mr. Cheung, they have all experienced different levels of inconveniences during railway construction, however, their understanding has helped to create this world-class city now.

Moving into the 21st century, MTR will continue to expand the railway network for the better future of Hong Kong and its citizens. Just like Baby Tak in the commercial, the construction works in the next few years may cause inconveniences to you, however, our professional team will endeavour to minimise such disturbance and hope with your understanding, we can together build a prosperous future for Hong Kong.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #3024
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MTR told to answer call of nature
4 October 2010
The Standard

MTR Corp is being pressed to set up toilets at all stations.

The Hong Kong Civic Association said a poll of 670 commuters over the past two months showed 90 percent of them experienced the need to go to the toilet when traveling on the subway.

The poll also showed nearly 60 percent of respondents took the MTR more frequently than any other forms of transport, making it the most vital transport system in the city.

Association chairman Frederick Lynn Kwok-wah said a company as big as MTR Corp should provide an efficient and comfortable environment for commuters.

``With the aging population, the need for toilets among the aged will increase. The MTR should consider commuters' needs and set up toilets, step-by-step, starting from the biggest and transition stations,'' Lynn said.

With profits rising 47 percent to HK$6.6 billion in the first six months of the year, Tsuen Wan district councillor Chan Han-pan said the company should invest some of that in building toilets.

``The company shouldn't make any more excuses on the issue ... it should improve its quality and meet public demand,'' Chan said.

A rail company spokesman said setting up toilets in all stations would create technical difficulties since it has to ensure easy access within station areas.

He said 38 of the 84 stations already have toilets and commuters may also request for the use of staff facilities if needed.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 03:38 AM   #3025
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MTR sorry for trouble before work starts
The Standard
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The MTR Corp has pledged to pull out all the stops to keep problems to a minimum when the construction of four lines reaches a peak next year.

The four lines are West Island, South Island, the Kwun Tong extension and the Express Rail Link.

Offering apologies in advance, projects director Chew Tai-chong said main concerns are dust, noise and traffic disruptions.

Construction will inevitably cause inconvenience, "especially in the heavily-populated Western District when we are extending the Island Line," said Chew, calling on people to show understanding while the MTRC faces the challenges.

Mitigation efforts include enclosed conveyor belts removing excavated rock to trucks during tunnelling in Kennedy Town. Construction manager Wong Kin-wai said measures to minimize problems for traffic include alternative access when a road is closed for a long period. And "traffic ambassadors" will be posted for major diversions or closures.

A "Please Excuse Us" campaign launched yesterday with front-page newspaper advertisements and television commercials to argue that inconvenience now will be followed by benefits.

Work on the West Island Line extension and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has started and should finish in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The South Island Line and Kwun Tong Line extension should be started next year.

And then comes the Sha Tin-Central Link, to be gazetted early next year.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #3026
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By 07kwongth1 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :















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Old October 14th, 2010, 05:43 AM   #3027
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MTR stations and trains must be the noisiest metro environment in the world, with constant bombardment by the the broadcast of all sorts of reminders of this and that and the annoying sounds emitting from the train/platform screen doors, escalators and the braille map for the visually impaired persons.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #3028
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad50939 View Post
MTR stations and trains must be the noisiest metro environment in the world, with constant bombardment by the the broadcast of all sorts of reminders of this and that and the annoying sounds emitting from the train/platform screen doors, escalators and the braille map for the visually impaired persons.
MTR is light years away from NY subway to talk about annoying noise.
Yes, there are probably more than enough announcement, and warning; but it is much better to hear those man-made sound than metal wheel scratching the steel track, and all those train bouncing noise that are so loud that you can't even hear yourself talking. I bet NY subway workers and frequent subway rider can get ear damage by staying in the underground system for too long.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #3029
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Yea .. announcement noise is far better than metal on metal screeching.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 04:31 AM   #3030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
I bet NY subway workers and frequent subway rider can get ear damage by staying in the underground system for too long.
"Now, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health have found that Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subways had the highest average noise levels of all mass transit in New York City, with levels high enough to potentially increase the risk of noise induced hearing loss. Researchers studied the risk of excessive exposure to noise related to mass transit ridership, and conducted an extensive set of noise measurements of New York City mass transit systems. The findings are available online today in the American Journal of Public Health and will be published in the August 2009 issue."

http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news...le?article=761
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Old October 18th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #3031
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I made this MTR system map including the proposed future extensions based on the official system map and the modified light rail system map. Enjoy.
Feel free to comment and contact me if you'd like to use or redistribute them. Thanks.



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Old October 21st, 2010, 12:17 PM   #3032
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Anyone heard about the delay this morning?
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 05:45 AM   #3033
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Fury at MTR rush-hour chaos\
The Standard
Friday, October 22, 2010

Thousands of angry commuters blasted the MTR for failing to properly deal with chaos at stations after a power failure at Yau Ma Tei halted rush-hour services yesterday.
It took nearly 45 minutes before shuttle buses arrived to ferry frustrated commuters to work or school after the power failure at 7am.

During the three-hour disruption to the services between Yau Ma Tei and Jordan, commuters battled to get on the buses. Many had no idea where to queue for them.

Some in the crowd screamed for help as people kept pushing from behind.

"Where is the bus stand? There is no direction showing the way," some were heard complaining to MTR staff.

An office worker in a queue for the shuttle buses said he was already an hour late for work. Many used public buses instead.

MTR Corp head of operations Choi Tak- tsan apologized for the inconvenience, saying it took time to arrange the shuttle buses.

He said the disruption occurred after a power cable at the station broke, halting services between Jordan and Yau Mei Tei.

The glitch was noticed when the driver of a Central-bound train on the Tsuen Wan line heard an unusual sound when the train was approaching Yau Ma Tei station.

The monitor in his control room showed a problem with the power supply system.

All passengers were then evacuated.

The frequency of trains running between Jordan and Central was reduced to about six minutes, from the usual two minutes.

Trains from Tsuen Wan to Yau Ma Tei had their frequency reduced to four minutes from about two minutes.

Train services were back to normal at about 10am.

An MTR spokesman said staff inspected the tracks once every three days. The section of track and tunnel involved was last checked early yesterday morning.

He said the firm is probing the cause of the power failure and will file a report to the government as soon as possible.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng Yu-wah said: "The incident involving the cable was serious. The report to be submitted by the MTR not only has to explain the maintenance of its machine parts, but also its overall contingency arrangements."

In July, a signal error on the Tseung Kwan O line slowed evening services for about three hours.

In January, about 10,000 passengers were affected when the East Rail line was brought to a halt by a technical problem during evening peak hours.

A signal error led to services being suspended for an hour.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 08:19 AM   #3034
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@Xeror

Wow look at that map nice, so are they actually going to built those? If so when?
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 09:36 AM   #3035
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Quote:
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@Xeror

Wow look at that map nice, so are they actually going to built those? If so when?
I thought those are the existing LRT lines.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 09:55 AM   #3036
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I thought those are the existing LRT lines.
I think he's referring to the system map. To answer that question, yes, these are all planned extensions. That being said, I really don't like the plan for the Northern Link... it really doesn't make much sense to me to create two branches to Kwu Tung and Lok Ma Chau, reducing the frequencies.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #3037
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That being said, I really don't like the plan for the Northern Link... it really doesn't make much sense to me to create two branches to Kwu Tung and Lok Ma Chau, reducing the frequencies.
Yeah, they should make it just to Lok Ma Chau, increasing the number of people using Lok Ma Chau to cross the border.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 08:58 AM   #3038
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Rail lessons from Hong Kong
Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent
31 October 2010
Straits Times

Hong Kong's mass rapid transit system has long been cited as a gold standard.

Folk who have lived and worked in Hong Kong, as well as visitors, have commented that the metro system there is well connected to buildings and attractions, easy to navigate, and on the whole user-friendly.

SMRT boss Saw Phaik Hwa had said so herself in an interview with this paper in 2004, wistfully adding Singapore's network should be as well connected.

What makes Hong Kong's system tick? The successful recipe apparently boils down to a rather unconventional practice.

Hong Kong's MTR Corp, which builds the territory's metro network, is also given rights to develop land around stations. The company - once government-owned but now publicly listed - uses proceeds from its property activities to fund its rail infrastructure projects.

Mr Chew Tai Chong, MTR's projects director, pointed out that the model has meant that the cost of building the rail infrastructure is not borne by the taxpayers alone.

The business model has also facilitated unmatched access for people who live, work and play near train stations because often, the rail builder and the developer of properties near the stations are one and the same.

Mr Chew said the recipe means urban development - and in the case of older districts, redevelopment - and rail projects are planned and executed in unison from start to finish.

This has led to successful implementation of transit-oriented developments - a bit of transport parlance used to describe districts where residential and commercial developments are designed to maximise access to public transport.

'New towns have been developed successfully around stations along the Tseung Kwan O Line,' said Mr Chew, citing an example. 'The population in the area has increased dramatically since the line was opened in 2002.'

Newer stations which are interwoven with major housing estates or shopping complexes include

Tsing Yi station, which is built next to the massive Maritime Square shopping mall and directly underneath the Tierra Verde condo-minium project. Both developments were undertaken by MTR.

Mr Chew, previously a Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) senior director, was speaking at the just-concluded World Urban Transit Conference, which was held in Singapore.

The 58-year-old left the LTA in 2003 to work for a private-sector company in London on a railway modernisation programme. He left to join MTR last year, and now oversees five new rail projects that will be completed in the next 10 years.

In Singapore, the LTA builds MRT lines but leaves the Urban Redevelopment Authority to sell land parcels around stations.

Although the Government eventually recoups what it has invested in the rail infrastructure this way (often more), plots of land next to stations often lay idle for a long time. For instance, the Ion Orchard mall was built some 20 years after Orchard MRT station opened.

And there are still vast empty plots around the Jurong East interchange, which is part of a line built in the late 1980s.

Industry watchers said property developers were also hesitant to build too near completed stations, in case works affected the line.

But things have improved, partly because the LTA now makes provisions for future development near major stations. Serangoon interchange is one case in point. It took only seven years for the Nex mega-mall in Serangoon Central to be up after the North-East Line opened. This is because some underground structural works had already been done when the station was built.

The Sunday Times understands that the Downtown Line now being built will also have provisions to accommodate a massive underground mall; and that it will one day be possible to walk from the Bugis station interchange to the City Hall interchange underground, without having to come above ground.

However, this connectivity may not be ready when the Bugis stretch of the Downtown Line opens in 2013 because the pedestrian link and the mall are unlikely to be built by the LTA.

Hong Kong's way offers many lessons to planners here. As Ms Saw pointed out, Buona Vista station could have had an underground connection to Holland Village or Ghim Moh.

There are other more recent examples of poor integration. The Circle Line's Stadium station is up and running - but the Sports Hub it will serve will be up only in four years' time.

Then there is the case of a fare-gate at the Bishan Circle Line station which leads to a blank wall separating it and Junction 8 mall.

Mr Chew pointed out that the Hong Kong formula that has contributed to the territory's high public transport ridership (close to 90 per cent of all trips) has to do with high community involvement too.

'Communities are consulted about the railway alignment and locations of station entrances,' he noted.

Hong Kong train stations also offer value-added services such as Internet connectivity and Wi-Fi.

Nevertheless, Mr Chew said Singapore's rail development remains the envy of many countries. By 2020, the Republic will have 280km of metro lines. Hong Kong, which is building five new lines now, will also have the same network length by then.

But Hong Kong has eight million people, whereas Singapore has five million.

The Republic's rail network is more dense compared with that of the territory.

Touching on sustainable railway development, Mr Chew said it is becoming increasingly important to examine how rail construction impacts society and the environment as cities rush to build or expand networks.

As rail infrastructure involves using enormous amounts of resources such as concrete and steel, the design, depth and size of stations will have to be considered carefully so as to minimise the carbon footprint.

Station designs should be made flexible so that platforms can be expanded to accommodate longer trains should demand grow.

Trains should be re-used, or be made more recyclable.

Mr Chew noted that these strategies are not only environmentally sound; they are financially prudent too.

Meanwhile, the rail-property business model has also allowed train services in Hong Kong to run without fare increases for more than a decade. The first fare hike in 13 years was granted last year.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 10:31 PM   #3039
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The "bad" things HKers whine about are the gems for others, again.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #3040
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Legislators want bonus slap for MTR chiefs
The Standard
Friday, November 05, 2010

Lawmakers unhappy at MTR Corp's handling of a recent service breakdown passed a non-binding motion calling for no bonuses for its chief executive and other senior officials this year.

The passage came yesterday despite a public apology by chief executive Chow Chung-kong at a meeting of the Legislative Council's railways subcommittee and a denial that MTR services are getting worse.

With the government a leading shareholder of the MTRC, Undersecretary for Transport and Housing Yau Shing-mu said no one will be punished or disciplined until the company's final investigative report on the October 21 incident is completed.

"Based on this report, the Executive Council can impose fines on the company, or even rescind its operating license if necessary."

Yau described the incident as serious and said the MTRC failed to handle it properly.

During the three-hour service disruption between Yau Ma Tei and Jordan following a power failure, commuters battled to get onto MTR-arranged feeder buses in the rush not to be late for work.

Many had no idea where to queue for them. About 100,000 passengers were affected, the MTRC told the panel.

While the railway is required to inform the Transport Department of such incidents within eight minutes, it took them 20 minutes that morning.

Subcommittee chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee said the final report and a revised contingency plan should be tabled to Legco within three months to ensure such poor arrangements are not repeated.

MTRC deputy operations director Jacob Kam Chak-pui pledged to submit the plan and the final report within the time frame.

Legislator Li Fung-ying blasted the railway, saying the number of service delays of at least 15 minutes jumped to 66 last year from 31 in 2007, while delays of more than an hour spiked from one in 2007 to six last year.

"The words we most often hear are `sorry' and `take a serious view.' But the fact is it is getting worse. Is it due to mechanical problems or the MTRC's internal management problems?" she asked.

Chow replied that the rail system is huge. "I can't see it getting worse."

Independent lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo said: "The government is too feeble and is conniving with the MTRC as these glitches keep popping up .. . It is making us lose confidence in public transport."
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