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Old January 22nd, 2011, 12:03 PM   #3061
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Maybe they should have undercover police or security to catch pervs in the act. Then pervs will never know when they are safe to be pervy, and most of the behaviour might stop?

What if a women goes in a mixed train? Is she then free to be groped? "Well, you should have went on a woman-only train, if you didn't want to be fondled!"
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:52 PM   #3062
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Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Maybe they should have undercover police or security to catch pervs in the act. Then pervs will never know when they are safe to be pervy, and most of the behaviour might stop?

What if a women goes in a mixed train? Is she then free to be groped? "Well, you should have went on a woman-only train, if you didn't want to be fondled!"
Don't think the police can help much when the trains are packed and they can't witness the pervert in action.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #3063
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More gropers stalk the MTR
27 January 2011
The Standard

More women fell victim to gropers on crowded MTR trains last year, police said yesterday.

There had also been a rapid rise in the number of predators who are classmates or relatives of the sex-crime victims.

The victims are often underage, with 35 percent of 1,448 victims of indecent assaults being under the age of 15, according to figures released yesterday. Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said making trains less crowded is one way to tackle the increasing number of sex crimes on public transport.

There have been calls for some compartments to be designated for women only. However, the MTR said yesterday that female compartments may affect the mobility of passengers during emergencies.

Tsang, who was speaking at the police crime statistics review, said there were 148 indecent assaults on trains last year compared with 112 in 2009.

Overall, the crime rate dropped 2.1 percent to 75,965 cases, with a detection rate of 42.8 percent.

But police are concerned about a 9.9 percent rise in indecent assaults.

Deputy commissioner Xavier Tang Kam-moon said the majority of the predators do not know the victims, but that there was a significant increase in the number of such crimes involving schoolmates and relatives.

Among the 1,448 cases last year, 113 involved schoolmates, compared with 82 in 2009. The number of cases involving relatives also increased by some 50 percent, from 65 to 98.

Meanwhile, Tsang said his priority this year is to ensure public safety.

He added that the way protests are handled had been reviewed following the clash between protesters and construction workers in Choi Yuen Tsuen last Thursday.

But he stressed police will be impartial in dealing with protesters regardless of the location of the protesters.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #3064
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By 3ASV196 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :



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Old February 27th, 2011, 06:39 AM   #3065
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MTR Corp blames faulty tracks and materials for half of cracks
22 February 2011
South China Morning Post

Half of the 14 cracks which have appeared on MTR tracks recently were caused by manufacturing flaws or defective materials, lawmakers at a special meeting were told.

The Legislative Council's railway subcommittee met yesterday after a series of incidents over the past few months involving the rail network.

The Transport Bureau and the MTR Corporation gave details of the 14 cases since 2008.

Four were related to manufacturing flaws or sub-standard workmanship and involved tracks that were six months to eight years old.

Three incidents were caused by excessive impurities or unmolten material being introduced in the welding process. Four other cases were put down to corrosion and metal fatigue.

The remaining three cases are still being investigated.

The faulty tracks and materials - which were provided by five companies - were replaced.

Raymond Ho Chung-tai, the lawmaker representing engineers, said the MTR Corp should issue warning letters to manufacturers whose performance is unsatisfactory.

"If you don't give warnings, I'm afraid the lesson of the Ngong Ping 360 is going to be repeated," Ho said, referring to an empty Lantau cable car falling off the ropeway in 2007.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, echoing Ho's views, asked the MTR Corp if it kept a blacklist of manufacturers.

Morris Cheung Siu-wa, the MTR Corp's head of operations engineering, said in some of the cases the tracks were old and issuing warnings might not help. He said the company conducted regular checks in compliance with international standards, with the tracks undergoing ultrasonic testing every two to six weeks and visual checks every three days.

The company is investigating two recent incidents on the Tung Chung and Tsuen Wan lines.

A small crack in a railway track between Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui disrupted services for four hours on February 10. And on January 19, a crack near Sunny Bay station disrupted services for four hours.

The tracks were sent to City University and a laboratory in the United States for analysis. The results will be available in four months.

The MTR Corp will also hire a team of experts to conduct a review of, and make recommendations to improve, its rail inspection and maintenance regime, with a particular focus on cracks, procurement and quality control.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #3066
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 05:13 PM   #3067
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LCQ15: Platform safety of MTR stations
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Kam Nai-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (March 2):

Question:

Regarding platform safety in railway stations of the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL"), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows, in each of the past three years, the number of staff deployed by MTRCL at station platforms during train service hours to assist in regulating passenger flows and advise passengers not to bump into or charge the train doors, with a breakdown by rail line, name of station, whether or not platform screen doors ("PSDs") or automatic platform gates ("APGs") are installed, as well as the place and time periods of such staff deployment; whether additional staff are deployed by MTRCL during peak hours to maintain order at station platforms; if so, of the details (including the number of additional staff so deployed and the criteria and time periods for such deployment); if not, the reasons for that; whether MTRCL has reviewed the adequacy of its existing manpower and the effectiveness of deploying staff to maintain order at platforms; if it has, of the details, if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether it knows, in each of the past three years, the number of MTRCL staff falling onto rail tracks while maintaining order, with a breakdown by rail line, name of station, whether or not PSDs or APGs are installed and the working hours of the staff; whether there are means to prevent staff working at platforms without PSDs or APGs from falling onto the tracks, and whether the effectiveness of such means has been reviewed; if so, of the details, if not, the reasons for that;

(c) whether it knows if MTRCL had compiled statistics in each of the past five years on delays in train service and other consequences caused by passengers falling onto rail tracks due to various reasons; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) given that in his reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on June 9, 2010, the Secretary for Transport and Housing indicated that a number of measures (such as installing platform gap fillers and yellow tactile strips in the gaps and along the edges of the platforms, installing illumination and flashing lights under the platforms and at the edge of the platforms respectively, installing CCTV systems at platforms, broadcasting announcements at platforms and in train compartments, as well as conducting education activities, etc.) had been taken by MTRCL in order to prevent passengers from falling onto the tracks in stations where PSDs or APGs had not been installed, whether it knows:

(i) if MTRCL had reviewed the effectiveness of those measures and explored other more effective options in the past three years; if it had reviewed and explored, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(ii) if MTRCL has put in place a mechanism to inspect and maintain such facilities on a regular basis; if it has, of the details and the resources (including the amount of expenditure) put in; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

For the various parts of the question, our reply is set out below:

(a) All platforms of the various railway lines of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) are always manned by station staff during operating hours of the day. In general, during the morning and evening peak hours and at stations with busier traffic (Note 1) , the passenger flow is heavier and MTRCL will arrange more staff and platform assistants to assist with crowd control and maintain order. For the Light Rail, MTR staff patrol Light Rail stops regularly and maintain close communication with the operation control centre in order to provide assistance to passengers. During peak hours, MTRCL also arranges platform assistants at Light Rail stops with high passenger flow (Note 2) to assist passengers in boarding and alighting Light Rail vehicles.

The major duties of station staff and platform assistants include: (i) reminding passengers to queue up and maintain order of waiting passengers before arrival of trains; (ii) reminding passengers to queue up if they are not standing in the waiting queue; (iii) preventing passengers from walking through queues, and making sure that they stand behind the yellow line; (iv) monitoring whether there is congestion of passengers and taking necessary actions to ease the congestion; and (v) assisting passengers in boarding and alighting trains, and preventing passengers from rushing into trains when train doors are closing.

MTRCL will arrange station staff and platform assistants to assist with crowd control at platforms considering the needs of different railway lines and stations. Instead of being assigned to perform duty at a designated station, these station staff and platform assistants will be deployed according to the needs of different stations and time periods. In fact, MTRCL has strengthened related manpower according to the overall need so as to provide better service to passengers. According to information provided by MTRCL, over the past three years, the number of station staff and platform assistants performing duties at heavy and light rail platforms increased from 1,073 in 2008 to 1,118 in 2009 and 1,172 in 2010. MTRCL conducts review on related staff establishment regularly and makes appropriate adjustments whenever necessary.

MTRCL introduces new measures from time to time in order to strengthen passenger safety awareness when they travel on the MTR, and appeals to passengers to maintain good order. For example, since July 2010, during peak hours at MTR interchange stations (Note 3), platform assistants will hold up the "Stop" sign and activate the electronic whistle when train doors are about to close, in order to urge passengers not to attempt entering train compartments when train doors are closing. This measure will gradually be introduced to other stations of the MTR system, with a view to reminding passengers more effectively not to rush into train compartments when train doors are closing.

(b) Over the past three years, no MTR staff fell onto track when performing crowd control duties. In fact, all station staff or platform assistants performing platform duties are required to attend the related training before carrying out platform duties. They also need to attend refresher courses every year. Contents of the courses emphasise that, when performing duties at platform without platform screen doors or automatic platform gates, station staff and platform assistants must stand behind the yellow line, and that ensuring the safety of passengers and that of their own is the first priority.

(c) and (d) Passengers fall onto the track for various reasons, including: (i) falling onto the track by accident (e.g. under the influence of alcohol or medicine, due to sickness etc); (ii) suicides and attempted suicides; and (iii) trespasses onto the track (e.g. passengers trying to retrieve items fallen onto the track, crossing the track to the platform on the other side, etc).

In the past five years, there were 61 cases of train service delay of eight minutes or more as a result of passenger(s) fallen onto the track.

The design of platforms at stations of the existing railway system is safe. MTR is a railway system carrying 1.5 billion passenger trips annually. In the past three years, the number of reportable events (Note 4) per million passengers carried is about 1.1 cases yearly. To raise the safety awareness of the passengers, MTRCL has been organising promotional campaigns from time to time. MTRCL also reviews and makes new plans for such promotional campaigns every year. Regarding trespassing cases in the East Rail Line, MTRCL installed additional notices indicating that entering tracks is forbidden at platforms of the East Rail Line in recent years.

As regards the relevant platform facilities, station staff inspect the related facilities on a daily basis to make sure that they are in good condition. MTRCL also conducts regular maintenance of such facilities. Since the expenses for the maintenance works concerned are part of the overall maintenance expenses of stations, MTRCL does not have breakdown for this individual item.

Note 1: Of the 84 MTR stations, platform assistants are already arranged for 73 busy stations, except Kwai Hing, Tai Wo Hau, Che Kung Temple, Shek Mun, Wu Kai Sha, Tung Chung, Asia World-Expo, Sai Wan Ho, Shau Kei Wan, Chai Wan and LOHAS Park Stations.

Note 2: Including Town Centre, Tuen Mun, Ming Kum, Shek Pai, Choy Yee Bridge, Tai Hing (North), Tai Hing (South), Ngan Wai, Prime View, Affluence, Tuen Mun Hospital, Siu Hong, Lam Tei, Leung King, San Wai, Hung Shui Kiu, Hang Mei Tsuen, Tin Yiu, Locwood, Tin Shui, Chung Fu, Chestwood, Tin Heng, Tin Sau, Tin Yuet, Tin Wing, Ginza, Tin Tsz, Tin Shui Wai, Tai Tong Road and Yuen Long stops.

Note 3: Including Tsim Sha Tsui, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Prince Edward, Mei Foo, Lai King, Central, Admiralty, North Point, Quarry Bay, Yau Tong, Tiu Keng Leng, Hong Kong, Tsing Yi, Hung Hom, Kowloon Tong, Tai Wai, Nam Cheong, Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai, Siu Hong and Tuen Mun stations.

Note 4: Reportable events refer to the accidents and occurrences that are to be reported to the Government under the Mass Transit Railway Regulations (Cap. 556A).
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 07:34 PM   #3068
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
LCQ15: Platform safety of MTR stations
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Government Press Release
These are some very random questions.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #3069
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Can't believe they even dare to consider another fare hike this year ...

MTR profit up on home sales, higher traffic
The Standard
Friday, March 04, 2011

Net profit of MTR Corp (0066) jumped 25.1 percent to HK$12.06 billion - beating market forecasts of about HK$9 billion - thanks to robust home sales, high local patronage growth and fare adjustments.

Underlying profit, excluding a HK$4.07 billion revaluation gain from investment properties and deferred tax, rose 18.5 percent to HK$8.66 billion.

Earnings per share were HK$2.10. The company recommended a final dividend of 59 HK cents.

Profit from local rail operations jumped 31.65 percent to HK$2.8 billion, making it the largest contributor to earnings.

Net profit of local station commercial activities rose 8.4 percent to HK$2.53 billion.

Revenue surged 57 percent to HK$29.5 billion last year from HK$18.8 billion. Total fare revenue, comprising rail, light rail and bus services, grew 8.4 percent to HK$12.56 billion, with total patronage increasing by 6.8 percent to HK$1.608 billion in 2010.

Any rail fare adjustment will depend on a mechanism based on the consumer price index and wage index of transport services, of which the latter will be announced by the end of March, MTRC chief executive Chow Chung-kong said.

The average fare per passenger in Hong Kong rose 1.9 percent to HK$6.67 on the fare rise in June 2010 and longer trips after more openings of rail lines.

Net income of property rental and management rose 13.7 percent to HK$2.29 billion.

One-third of retail stores in railway stations renewed contracts and the rental growth of renewed contracts was 14 percent last year, Chow said.

Property development generated a net profit of HK$4.03 billion, up 13.5 percent from HK$3.55 billion.

The net profit of railway operations outside Hong Kong soared 47 times to HK$241 million from HK$5 million.

Diluted by the low-margin overseas franchise, margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of MTRC was 37 percent.

The Ebitda margin, excluding the railway subsidiaries outside of Hong Kong, was 54.9 percent.

The Beijing Metro Line operation is expected to turn profitable this year, but the Shenzhen Metro Line 4 may not contribute any profit to the company in the near term, MTR finance and business development director Lincoln Leung Kwok-kuen said.

MTRC shares closed down 0.52 percent to HK$28.65 yesterday.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #3070
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Taken for a ride
22 January 2011
The Age

The state of Melbourne's train service helped bring down the previous government. But as Royce Millar and Clay Lucas reveal, Metro inherited a flawed — and protected — system.

PEOPLE love trains in Hong Kong. Not surprising, really, given they tend to be fast, frequent, clean, safe, almost totally reliable, and dirt cheap. This week, the majority government-owned company that runs the Hong Kong system, MTR, had a malfunction that hit the front pages of a local newspaper. One line was disrupted for two hours, meaning trains would run every 12 minutes instead of every eight.

If only the news could be so bad in Melbourne each morning.

On a recent Asian visit by The Age, MTR executive Jaocb Kam stood in a boardroom in Hong Kong overlooking a set of shiny new tracks traversed by sparkling trains, 99.9 per cent of which will run on time. "On average," he said with pride, "people will have to take our system for two years before they experience a delay."

When MTR successfully bid to run Melbourne's trains in 2009, it used its home town as the inspiration for rebuilding this city's crumbling system. Under the name of Metro Trains Melbourne, the company's vision stirred former premier John Brumby to boast that it would deliver improved punctuality, reliability, safety, first-rate customer service and cleanliness. "Passengers will notice changes from day one."

Thirteen months after Labor scrubbed the tarnished Connex brand from Melbourne's history, Metro's performance record is even worse. This, despite the newcomer costing Victorians many millions more in its first year than Connex in its last. The Brumby government is no more and ALP state secretary Nick Reece has pointed to disruption in train services before the November poll as a key factor in his party's demise.

While it is early days for Metro in its eight-year contract, there is a widely held view among rail industry insiders and commentators that the company has hit a wall in Melbourne; that an entrenched inertia and old boys' network in the state bureaucracy and unions has made reform in Melbourne public transport impossible.

Expert observers such as University of Queensland urban economist Chris Hale are baffled by Metro's experience in Victoria. "MTR are really among the leading mass transit operators worldwide. If Melbourne can't make mass transit work with MTR at the helm, then something is seriously wrong," he says.

What happened to Metro under Labor and can it salvage its position here and transform the city's rail system as it promised? Will the Baillieu government really "fix the problems" in public transport, as it has vowed?

A bookshelf of colourful folders has pride of place in Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala's Spring Street office overlooking the former Jolimont rail yards. The folders contain a confidential blueprint for rail renaissance in Melbourne. Lezala insists he is on track to deliver this "step change" for the city's public transport, despite early teething problems. He points to a graph indicating improved performance towards the end of 2010 and says his trains are now more than twice as reliable as a year ago.

"We're here to professionalise this railway," he says. "Our vision is for a proud railway for everyone every day."

Whatever that means, Melburnians have good reason to be doubtful. Since Jeff Kennett privatised the metropolitan system in 1999, commercial train operators and their government champions have repeatedly promised more than they could deliver. Kennett vowed that his multi-operator private model would lead to improved services and patronage increases, while the level of public subsidies would plummet. Implicit was that franchisees would initiate and pay for maintenance and the system upgrades to attract and keep customers. Taxpayers could sit back and enjoy the ride, courtesy of the market.

Within two years, Kennett's privatised model was in tatters. The Bracks government reworked the contracts, signed Connex in 2004 as a single operator, paid it more in subsidies, and made the same promise of a new dawn for Melbourne transport.

By 2009, Labor was desperate to get rid of Connex, whose performance had become a political liability, and turned to Metro instead. Again, the subsidies increased. But Metro's first year was disappointing, with the company failing to meet punctuality targets in 10 of 12 months.

The company certainly faces obstacles. Some, such as the antiquated complexity of the network and extent of maintenance neglect, were not fully apparent. "If you look at standards, what we have got is a Third World railway in a First World country," says a former Metro executive and rail industry insider. "Metro did not understand how difficult it was to operate such a complex system."

After all, Hong Kong's network had been built largely since the 1970s. It is a new and simple rail system, subject to ongoing preventative maintenance. When Metro chiefs visited Melbourne in 2008 and 2009 they could have been forgiven for looking at the architecturally celebrated Southern Cross Station and concluding that Victoria shared their enthusiasm for public transport.

So Tuesday, July 27, 2010, was sobering for Metro, by then in its eighth month as the city's rail operator. It was the day the entire train network was thrown into disarray after an overhead power line broke near Southern Cross. Obscured by the extravagant station shell was the fact that the old electric wiring had been left to deteriorate to the point that it could snap.

A former senior Transport Department director told The Age that Metro had been given written reports that depicted the network as "robust but requiring some maintenance". "What they were not told was that it was entirely dilapidated and waiting to collapse at the wink of an eye. They've inherited a dog."

Lezala says he was generally aware of the state of the network. What was missing, he says, was the sort of data and research that underpins MTR's slick operation in Hong Kong. "The thing that really shocked me was there wasn't the management data you need to understand where to apply your efforts."

If the true physical conditions of Melbourne's network were elusive to Metro, then the political conditions of its operation were positively mysterious. When Metro arrived in Melbourne it was led by a mixture of Asian and English executives. They were new and challenging to a rail industry, bureaucracy and union leadership renowned for their clubby camaraderie.

Within weeks, those executives were facing the reality that a Hong Kong transport culture and Victorian politics did not mix. By year's end, only Lezala remained of the original management team; all the others had quit, been fired, or demoted.

Even Lezala's authority is questioned by sources within government and among his own former staff. Soon after taking over the company last year, he announced a change of duties for its CEO. He would devote his time to "external issues" — that is, media. A new chief operating officer, Simon Lane, was recruited from the government's Transport Department to run Metro's trains.

Lane, who was with the Public Transport Corporation of the pre-Kennett era, was managing director of the old Met trains, and in 1997 was named by Jeff Kennett as the head of doomed privatisation pioneer Bayside Trains.

Lezala insists he headhunted Lane. Others, including former Metro managers and former government insiders, say Lane was foisted on the company by the department. Either way, the dramatic change in senior personnel signalled to those familiar with the industry and bureaucracy that Metro was no longer in charge.

Says a former senior Brumby government adviser: "Metro got beaten up initially when Andrew Lezala brought in a new management team. They [Metro] came in and said, 'There are all these problems, we are starting again,' and he got beaten around the head by DOT [Department of Transport] and by ministers."

On the government side, the large Transport Department is headed by bureaucrats who date back to the Kennett era and beyond, including Transport Department secretary Jim Betts and public transport division chief Hector McKenzie.

Their ongoing influence in transport policy and management, and their ability to outlive premiers, ministers and rail franchisees, lends weight to the criticism of a Yes Minister-style old guard that never lets go in Melbourne.

The relationship between the bureaucracy and rail union is a long and complex one, and was especially so under Labor. Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Trevor Dobbyn is Victorian president of the ALP.

Several of the most senior current and past Metro staff have told The Age that they believe Mr Dobbyn is more influential than either Metro itself or the government's transport bureaucracy.

When Metro human resources manager Bill Armstrong sought to challenge long-standing work practices including union control of rosters and who tests new trains, he found he had taken on a bigger opponent that he had realised. Armstrong was one of a string of senior figures moved out of Metro last year. He would not comment when contacted by The Age. However, a former senior colleague observes: "Metro was prepared to back Bill up, but he was not able to implement his strategy because the government did not want to take on people like Trevor. So the consequence was that nothing happened."

Metro had also committed to a streamlined operation with fewer staff than its predecessor, Connex, including a cut of administrative staff from 160 to 90. The figure is now about 200. Wider staff numbers have ballooned from 3200 at the time of the takeover to almost 3780 now.

Other changes flagged but not delivered were a major overhaul of safety, including mandatory drug and alcohol testing of all staff, and passenger management strategies to minimise the delays caused by the growing number of people getting on and off the trains.

IN HIS office, Lezala is uncomfortable on the question of the political culture his company encountered in Melbourne, especially in relation to unions. So much so, he is reluctant to identify work practices he would like to change. When pressed, he acknowledges that some of his senior staff had struggled with a "social culture" different to that of Hong Kong.

"It's about getting the right leaders in an Australian environment, which is why I brought Simon [Lane] in. We needed a leadership team that is compatible with how Melburnians work."

Still, Metro and Labor did agree that upgrading work was needed across the antiquated network. Metro last year persuaded the government to bring forward maintenance spending for projects including fixing train faults, notably breaks, and replacing old signalling and wood sleepers with concrete.

Inevitably, such belated upgrading of the system caused delays and frustration for passengers. The political timing was bad; in fact it was lethal. Before the November election, voters were getting grumpy about disruptions and service alterations along the lines through south and eastern suburbs.

Labor's response was to stop talking about public transport altogether — even the maintenance initiatives — in a bid to minimise attention on its public transport record. The strategy backfired. On November 27, Labor's seats fell like dominoes along and in between the Frankston and Lilydale lines. It was a cruel irony, maybe, that Labor should pay such a price for belatedly recognising that rail upgrades were needed.

Yet, as one senior consultant close to Metro puts it: "The main problem was that the government was 10 years behind on infrastructure. The more they did, the more Metro missed targets because they had to stop trains running to fix things up. These things go to a lack of long-term planning and support."

As the November poll showed, political risk for transport cannot be transferred. Governments, not companies such as Metro, are ultimately held responsible for train and tram services.

Having won government in part on the back of Labor's transport quandary, the Coalition now faces the same conundrum.

Asked about his view of Melbourne's train franchise model, Transport Minister Terry Mulder is quick to criticise the Bracks/Brumby approach: "What Labor did was to think, 'We will hand this to private operators and then it's their problem. We can go off and do what we like.' "

Nonetheless, the Coalition has decided to persevere with the eight-year Metro contracts, while having a bob each way by repeatedly pointing out they were inherited from Labor.

In opposition, Mulder was merciless in his criticism of the system operated by Metro, if not of the company itself, and he had flagged he would have trouble working with Lezala. Now he calls for patience. "They haven't been there long. There has been a considerable amount of [public] investment made for maintenance and asset renewal for this operator and they have got to be given an opportunity to prove themselves."

The Coalition has given itself the additional political pressure of promising a multibillion-dollar extension of the network, including a Doncaster line promised by the Liberals in the 1960s but never delivered. It has also promised an independent public transport development authority charged with driving improvements in train, tram and bus services, although details are sketchy. How this body works with the minister, the existing Transport Department and Metro is also hazy.

What is apparent is that if Melbourne's trains are run by the old guard of bureaucrats, former departmental consultants and unions, there is no obvious reason to think things are soon to change.

The Coalition government has promised to not cut public service levels or wield the axe at senior bureaucrats. Ted Baillieu has made it clear he has no appetite for a stoush with the transport unions.

Meanwhile, at Flinders Street Station there is an enduring Melbourne mystery — the frustratingly long stop every train makes on arrival. The delays are due to an old industrial agreement that requires that drivers change trains after every trip, lest they get bored. Such a practice would be laughable in Hong Kong. When asked what he intends to do about it, Mr Mulder is cautious. "It would be an issue that Metro would be dealing with or talking to their train drivers about."
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Old March 10th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #3071
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The MTR is so cheap compared to European and American rapid transport…
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Old March 10th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #3072
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Taken for a ride
22 January 2011
The Age
PEOPLE love trains in Hong Kong. Not surprising, really, given they tend to be fast, frequent, clean, safe, almost totally reliable, and dirt [/B]cheap. This week, the majority government-owned company that runs the Hong Kong system, MTR, had a malfunction that hit the front pages of a local newspaper. One line was disrupted for two hours, meaning trains would run every 12 minutes instead of every eight.

If only the news could be so bad in Melbourne each morning.

On a recent Asian visit by The Age, MTR executive Jaocb Kam stood in a boardroom in Hong Kong overlooking a set of shiny new tracks traversed by sparkling trains, 99.9 per cent of which will run on time. "On average," he said with pride, "people will have to take our system for two years before they experience a delay."
Was that a joke? Or was that a shame?

I guess MTR should start education people how poor are similar rail service around the world are.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:31 AM   #3073
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Was that a joke? Or was that a shame?

I guess MTR should start education people how poor are similar rail service around the world are.
Well no, that's not fair. A lot of metro systems worldwide are also very good and MTR (which now runs the Stockholm Tunnelbana too) inherited a good system there and runs it well.

Melbourne is a complex commuter rail system with extensive interlining meaning that it isn't comparable to the MTR in Hong Kong with its simple "one line one train" approach to a great deal of its network. Compare apples with apples please. It was unfair of the government in Victoria to turn round and say "look MTR delivers 99% on time services in Hong Kong" because it simply isn't possible to offer that level of efficiency with a complicated system like Melbourne's. You can't compare commuter rail to a metro.


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The MTR is so cheap compared to European and American rapid transport…
Single fares are, yes. But how about multiple fares? I noticed very quickly in Hong Kong that if you make a lot of trips the cost goes up markedly especially when you add on the bus on top. In Europe you often have very cost-effective monthly tickets that cover the entire PT network and that I actually prefer as you can make unlimited trips.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #3074
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Hong Kong Mass Transit Operator MTR Chooses Verizon to Fast Track Information-Asset Protection

5 MARCH 2011

HONG KONG – The MTR Corporation, which carries 4 million passengers every weekday in Hong Kong, wanted to bolster its security capabilities to better protect corporate and customer information.

Verizon Business professional services experts helped the mass transit operator update its existing security and data classification policies and implemented a comprehensive Information Rights Management program. To build a security framework, Verizon conducted a series of stringent process assessments and workshops for employees with access to sensitive and classified information. As a result, MTR’s 14,000 employees are now able to quickly and consistently identify, classify and encrypt sensitive company information. And the new security framework has greatly helped to reduce the risk of unauthorized and inadvertent disclosure of such information.

Daniel Lai, MTR Corporation’s head of information technology, said: “Our business uses significant amounts of information in different forms. And since our employees and external partners are increasingly mobile, we wanted to ensure that all sensitive information was properly protected. With the help of Verizon Business, the entire MTR team is now well-equipped to safeguard customer data – and protect the underlying qualities of the MTR brand.”

Verizon Business offers managed security services; governance, risk and compliance solutions; data loss and prevention solutions; and identity management solutions, all delivered by the company’s more than 1,200 security professionals around the globe. More information is available by visiting http://www.verizonbusiness.com/products/security. The company also provides ongoing security insight and analysis via the Verizon Security Blog.

Verizon is a global leader in driving better business outcomes for mid-sized and large enterprises and government agencies. Verizon combines integrated communications and IT solutions, professional services expertise with high-IQ global IP and mobility networks to enable businesses to securely access information, share content and communicate. Verizon is rapidly transforming to a cloud-based “everything-as-a-service” delivery model that will put the power of enterprise-grade solutions within the reach of every business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #3075
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MTR Hong Kong introduces new passenger communication measures

BY A. SAMUEL · FEBRUARY 25, 2011 ·

The MTR Corporation, Hong Kong has introduced a series of new measures to improve communication with passengers in the event of a train service suspension.

On 25 February a joint exercise took place at Yau Ma Tei Station held with the Fire Services Department and Railway District Police. The exercise re-enacted last October’s Tsuen Wan Line broken overhead line incident when train service had to be temporarily suspended between Yau Ma Tei and Jordan stations.

“Many passengers were delayed that day and I would once again like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. We agree our handling of the situation could be improved, especially in information dissemination, shuttle bus arrangement and timely communication with the Transport Department,” said Dr Jacob Kam, Operations Director of MTR Corporation.

“We have done a comprehensive review, and introduced a series of improvement initiatives which we took the opportunity to try out.“

For high visibility, the Corporation has colour-coded communication materials for train service suspension in pink. The new measures include:

• Enhanced public announcements with service suspension details and advice on alternative transport choices

• Giant pull-down maps showing franchise bus routes, bus stop locations and Free MTR Shuttle Bus pick-up points

• Signs displayed from concourse ceilings and at street level to mark routes to Free MTR Shuttle Bus pick-up points

• LCD screens to be gradually installed at MTR station entry gates to provide information on service suspension

• Station-specific Rail Service Suspension Passenger Guide available at each station and on the MTR website

In addition, a 60-member, dedicated Customer Service Rapid Response Unit (CSRRU) is being set up to provide assistance to passengers and maintain order at stations and Free MTR Shuttle Bus pick-up points. Individual teams will be deployed to affected stations during a train service suspension and members will be easily identifiable in their hot pink vests.

“When a service suspension occurs, we need time to ascertain the situation and make assessment on the impact. As a result, it could take 30 to 45 minutes before the relevant arrangements are put into place, extra manpower deployed and Free MTR Shuttle Buses arrive,” said Mr TT Choi, Head of Operating of MTR Corporation. “We thank passengers for their understanding and advise that they should first consider taking alternative MTR routes or other public transport.”

The joint exercise is also aimed at verifying established emergency procedures and communication between the MTR and emergency services. Five hundred members of the public volunteered to play the role of “passengers”.

“The exercise confirms the seamless cooperation among the MTR, Fire Services and Police in urgent situations as well as meets the objective of testing the effectiveness of our new communication initiatives,” added Mr Choi.

MTR passengers can familiarise themselves with arrangements during a train service suspension by obtaining a Rail Service Suspension Passenger Guide at a nearby station or downloading it from the MTR website.

http://www.rail.co/2011/02/25/mtr-ho...tion-measures/
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Old March 11th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #3076
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Well no, that's not fair. A lot of metro systems worldwide are also very good and MTR (which now runs the Stockholm Tunnelbana too) inherited a good system there and runs it well.

Melbourne is a complex commuter rail system with extensive interlining meaning that it isn't comparable to the MTR in Hong Kong with its simple "one line one train" approach to a great deal of its network. Compare apples with apples please. It was unfair of the government in Victoria to turn round and say "look MTR delivers 99% on time services in Hong Kong" because it simply isn't possible to offer that level of efficiency with a complicated system like Melbourne's. You can't compare commuter rail to a metro.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to look down on other systems.
The thing is, locally in Hong Kong, politicians and media are making very big deal about any service disruption of the system, which is one of the best in the world.
As the article described, it were like end of the world if the service is only delayed by a few minutes for a very short period of time, and would make it to the newspaper headline the next day.
I was just trying to say those complain our ultra efficient MTR should learn about how other similar system performs, and be thankful we have such a reliable and efficient system rather than whining any small gossip that happens.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 05:06 AM   #3077
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MTR jam calls for longer trains

Friday, March 11, 2011

Traffic has always been a problem for Hong Kong, and car dealers do not believe raising first registration tax as proposed in the budget will deter buyers. Meanwhile, both pedestrian and vehicular traffic seem to have increased lately.

There are crowds everywhere, and this is probably because more mainlanders are visiting, and more people are shopping, helped by the robust economy.
Even MTR trains are always full, and passengers often have to wait for the next one.

The long-term solution would be for the train company to build more lines, but that does not help relieve the immediate passenger pressure, which is quite a headache.

Some suggest increasing train frequencies, but a friend with MTR Corp said this is not possible because the system is almost at full capacity.

Another option would be to increase the length of each train. Would that not increase the capacity of each train, which has up to nine carriages now?

Adding a 10th could work at new platforms, but may present a problem for the older ones, which are shorter. Despite the hitch, this is one possibility the company is exploring.

One way to overcome the problem is not to open the doors of the additional carriage. Passengers would use the doors of the ninth carriage to board and exit.

But they might be reluctant to move into the 10th carriage, staying close to the exit, causing delays.

Higher patronage is, of course, good for the company, but it also presents a problem, albeit a happy one.

As the economy improves further, this kind of problem may spill over to other establishments.

It is up to the managers to do some brainstorming to find innovative solutions.

Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_d...=20110311&fc=7
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Old March 11th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #3078
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Shorten the announcements, so trains can depart quicker.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:34 AM   #3079
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MTR Corp told to derail fare rises
The Standard
Friday, March 18, 2011

Most people feel MTR fares are already too high, and three-quarters of the population oppose further increases.
That's the claim of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which is calling on MTR Corp to shoulder its social responsibility and offer discounts, in view of its huge profits last year.

"With such a big profit, MTR should be socially responsible, and abandon its plan to increase fares in June, since the masses are already facing high inflation," lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan said yesterday.

The DAB surveyed 921 people, aged 18 and above, from March 3 to March 14, with 77.6 percent of respondents objecting to fare rises this year.

Earlier, MTRC chief executive Chow Chung-kong announced the subway operator posted a net profit of HK$12.06 billion last year, up 25 percent.

Profit from local rail operations jumped 31.65 percent to HK$2.8 billion, as total fare revenues from rail, light rail and bus services grew 8.4 percent to HK$12.56 billion.

The company plans to adjust fares in June under the "fare-adjustment mechanism," which is based on the previous year's inflation and wage rates.

Chan said rather than propose increases, the rail operator should offer fare concessions, as suggested by 35 percent of poll respondents.

On the subject of service delays, Chan said there should be a demerit system. He said one-third of respondents claim constant MTR incidents have affected their confidence in the company, while the same percentage is not satisfied with the contingency arrangements.

"A demerit system should be linked to the fare-adjustment mechanism, so that the higher the frequency of incidents, the lower the proportion of allowed fare increase," Chan said.

Such a demerit system will help compensate passengers for time and money lost due to rail incidents, he said.

In February, the company said it has found 14 serious cracks on rail tracks since 2008.

A five-millimeter crack in January delayed services between Sunny Bay and Central for almost two hours.

Last month, a one-millimeter vertical crack in a rail between Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui disrupted morning train services for up to four hours.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #3080
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This is absolutely nonsense!
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