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Old April 10th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #3321
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Privacy concern over MTR cameras
The Standard
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Privacy Commission has taken aim at the MTR Corp for allowing loopholes that enable access to computer records of CCTV footage.

From June last year to this February, the commission inspected nine interchange or busy train stations along the 11 rail lines and two train depots.

It found the MTR installed and used 3,342 closed-circuit television cameras in the public areas of station premises and 429 in train compartments.

A total of 78 out of its 347 trains have CCTV installed, meaning that on average for every 10 compartments, there are two cameras in operation, covering more than one million passengers every day.

Despite the MTR's statutory obligations to monitor for incidents and ensure safety of its service and the fact that installation and use of CCTV is justified, the deputy privacy commissioner for personal data, Lavinia Chang Yu-ming, pointed out that the MTRC has not conducted any privacy impact assessment.

Chang added that retention periods of CCTV footage vary for different lines and between the analogue and digital systems.

Certain records were kept for up to 28 days, but those involving incidents will be kept for up to three years. Some are kept longer than the retention period prescribed by the MTR.

The notices of "CCTV in operation" are not prominent.

The login account and password for accessing and storing the footage in the recording system were shared among the staff, she said, adding that this is not conducive to user accountability and data security. The USB drives have no encryption facility for copying, storing or transferring the footage.

A spokesman for MTR confirmed that it received the report on CCTV usage. He noted that the report affirms the installation and use of CCTVs by the MTR are justified and that the location of CCTV cameras are overt and visible to the public.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 06:01 AM   #3322
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MTR gets lower fare hike
The Standard
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The MTR Corp and government have agreed on a new fare adjustment mechanism that will result in fares rising less that originally proposed.
Instead of a 3.2 percent hike previously proposed, the new fare rise will be 2.7 percent under the new mechanism, which takes effect in June. Transport minister Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said that under the new deal, the existing direct drive formula will be improved.

"This will result in the productivity factor value being improved from the present 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent so that the 2013 fare adjustment rate will be reduced from 3.2 percent to 2.7 percent, a 16 percent reduction, benefiting all passengers," he said.

The monthly pass scheme will be enhanced, with the addition of Tung Chung-Nam Cheong sectional monthly pass, MTR City Saver ticket, and Monthly Pass Extra scheme.

A public affordability cap will be based on the change in median monthly household income, such that any fare increase will not be higher than the corresponding figure for that year.

There will also be a performance arrangement under which service disruptions lasting 31 minutes or more, except for those beyond the operator's control, will result in fines, and the amount put into the fare concession account.

"We believe the overall arrangements will reduce not only the general fare table increase rate, but more significantly the fare burden of frequent and medium to long journey passengers," Cheung said.

For those enjoying various monthly pass schemes and other concessions, their effective fare increase for this year will be significantly lower than the 2.7 percent calculated according to the revised direct drive formula, he said.

MTR will launch the City Saver ticket scheme not later than mid-2014. Passengers can buy a pass for HK$400 to travel on 40 trips within 30 days.

Legislative Council transport panel chairman Chan Kam-lam said the penalty and a profit-sharing mechanism, under which some cash will go into the fare concessions account, are still relatively low under the new deal.

"Any delay for 31 minutes or more only leads to a fine of HK$1 million. It is a minor penalty for MTR," Chan said.

Unionist lawmaker Bill Tang Ka-piu said the MTR has no valid reason to increase fares as it makes billions of dollars each year. "Though the new mechanism results in a lower level of fare rise, it still cannot justify the reason for a fare rise."
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Old April 24th, 2013, 05:24 AM   #3323
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Old April 29th, 2013, 08:20 PM   #3324
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Outcome of review of MTR Fare Adjustment Mechanism
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Government Press Release

The review of the Fare Adjustment Mechanism (FAM) jointly conducted by the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) was completed successfully. The Executive Council approved the outcome of the review today (April 16). The new FAM will take effect starting June this year.

The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, said at the press conference today, "The new FAM and its related arrangements serve four objectives, including the expanded consideration of the existing FAM – namely the profitability and service performance of the MTRCL, and public affordability; the direct-drive formula of the FAM being retained, and at the same time adding the above three factors, will address the inadequacy of solely relying on the direct-drive formula to adjust fare.

The MTRCL will, based on its business performance, "share profit" with passengers, and will "share pain" with them in times of economic adversity in order to cater for their affordability; the MTRCL will also introduce a number of monthly passes and ticket schemes with especially generous fare concessions to reduce the fare burden on frequent and medium to long journey passengers, many of whom living in more distant lower-income districts."

The existing FAM adopts a direct-drive formula with components of year-on-year changes in the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI) and the Nominal Wage Index (Transportation Section) (Wage Index), as well as a pre-determined value of the Productivity Factor (PF):

Overall fare adjustment rate = (0.5 x year-on-year change in CCPI + 0.5 x year-on-year change in Wage Index) - PF

Under the new arrangement, the PF value will be substantially raised from the present 0.1% to 0.6% for the next five years. The calculation of MTR fare increase rate for June 2013 using the new improved direct-drive formula, as compared with that calculated by the old formula, will be reduced by 16%, benefitting all passengers.

To cater for public affordability, no matter the outcome of the direct-drive formula is calculated in future, fare increase rate of that year will not be higher than the change in Median Monthly Household Income (MMHI) for the corresponding period. Any shortfall will be recouped by two yearly phases only in years when the calculated fare increase rate is lower than MMHI. In any case, it will always be capped by the change in MMHI.

In response to the public concern on the MTRCL's profitability, the MTRCL will, based on its underlying business profits each year, set up a "fare concession account" to provide second trip discounts. Passengers will share the MTRCL's operational success. The burden from the fare increase rate on them will also be relieved.

A "service performance arrangement" will also be set up under the new FAM. The MTRCL will be penalised for serious service disruptions of 31 minutes or above. Any fine imposed will be credited to a "fare concession account" for fare concessions through second trip discounts. The rationale of the penalty is not to put undue pressure on the MTRCL's frontline staff and railway safety.

The expanded fare concessions on the different monthly passes and ticket schemes will benefit frequent medium to long journey passengers. The fare concessions vary from different journeys, reaching to at most around 30% discount. Under the new arrangement, the MTRCL estimates that its revenue foregone in 2013 amounts to $289 million.

Professor Cheung expressed that the Government strove to reach a balance between different considerations and needs during the review process.

He said, "The new FAM and its related arrangements will let the MTRCL maintain its financial prudence as a listed company, at the same time taking its corporate social responsibility into account, especially since the MTRCL is an organisation providing major public transport services.

"The new arrangement responds to the public's reasonable requests, and let them share the MTRCL's operational success. These balances laid a sounder foundation for the MTRCL's long term development – to tie-in with the Government's objective in public transport policies, to keep up its high-quality railway services, and to continue its primary role as the backbone of public transport."
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Old May 8th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #3325
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Old May 28th, 2013, 05:01 AM   #3326
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MTR hopes of women derailed
The Standard
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Women-only carriages on MTR trains may violate the sexual discrimination law if there are no similar facilities for men.

That was the warning given yesterday by transport chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung following questions at the Legislative Council.

Cheung said he is aware of the rise in sexual harassment on trains, but fears the introduction of carriages for women will reduce the flexibility of movement for passengers and disrupt flow during peak periods.

The issue was raised by lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan, who claimed police received 197 reports of indecent assault within MTR premises last year, with the youngest victim being only four years old.

"It has been learned that these indecent assault cases mostly happened in overcrowded train carriages," Chiang said.

"Some pathological sex offenders even look for their prey on train platforms, and then follow their targets into the train to exploit opportunities for sexually assaulting them."

She said some people feel MTR Corp should conduct trial runs with some carriages specially reserved for women and children.

Cheung said police figures submitted to Legco show that more than 500 passengers, including eight men, have complained of being abused on the MTR system over the past three years.

The number of women indecently assaulted on trains stood at195 last year, 164 in 2011, and 148 in 2010.

The number of men assaulted over the same period, stood at two, three and three respectively.

Cheung said current MTR trains are of a more open design and the introduction of special carriages will reduce the flexibility of passenger movement.

Only a few places have adopted the special measures, including Japan, India and Dubai.

Cheung assured the public that the railway is doing its best to prevent indecent assaults.

"MTR Corp has put up posters at stations, and passengers are encouraged not to remain silent but to report incidents or crimes immediately to the police or station staff for prompt assistance," he said.

"MTR station staff are trained to prevent the crime of indecent assault."

He said the company will continue to work closely with the police to take appropriate measures to prevent crime in its premises, and protect the safety of passengers.

Closed-circuit television systems are now being installed on all trains running on the West Rail Line, Ma On Shan Line and Disneyland Resort Line. They will also be installed on some trains on the East Rail Line, Kwun Tong Line and Light Rail.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 02:16 PM   #3327
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not the best photos here, but...

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Untitled by I<3Cities, on Flickr

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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #3328
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MTR under threat as pay talks loom
The Standard
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Mass Transit Railway workers threaten a work-to-rule action if MTR Corp rejects pay rises of up to 8percent from next month.

Union leader Philip Chan Sin-wo said the MTRC should offer considerably more than last year, when the average rise was 5.75 percent, in the wake of a profit reaching HK$9.7 billion.

About 30 unionists who represent staff at stations and control centers yesterday handed in a list of demands at company headquarters in Kowloon Bay.

Since the MTRC was listed, Chan said, the management has not factored in years of service in pay-rise calculations but based levels just on performance, so relative newcomers may earn more than established staff.

"Newcomers enjoy a 3 percent rise on top of their regular pay rise each year," he said.

"It's unfair to see them earn more than those who have worked here a long time."

Chan also said frontline staff have been under much pressure since the government introduced penalties for service disruptions exceeding 31 minutes.

Unions sought a rise of at least 8 percent last year, but increases ranged from 2.6 to 7.8 percent.

Rainbow Lau Choi-hung, the chairwoman of the KCR Operating Staff Association, said union representatives will meet management on Friday, and workers may take industrial action if demands are not met positively.

The MTRC has said an annual review that draws on pay trends at 20 leading companies in Hong Kong is under way. Results will be announced early next month.

"The pay is adjusted by a long-established mechanism in line with market trends," a spokeswoman said. This includes the economic outlook, performance and staff contributions.

She also disputed a claim the company ignores staff opinions.

"Before coming to a decision, we will consult the unions and the 48-member staff consultative council, which speaks for all 12,000 employees."
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:29 AM   #3329
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #3330
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Public Transportation rail system in hongkong is good,and I wonder it is still in operation.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:32 PM   #3331
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Sorry? Yes, the HK MTR is still operational unless something has radically changed in the last 24 hours.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #3332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galenjack View Post
Public Transportation rail system in hongkong is good,and I wonder it is still in operation.
No, it is no longer in operation. They completely shut it down. It was just too expensive and inefficient.





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Old June 15th, 2013, 04:16 AM   #3333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galenjack View Post
Public Transportation rail system in hongkong is good,and I wonder it is still in operation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Sorry? Yes, the HK MTR is still operational unless something has radically changed in the last 24 hours.
I think what Galenjack meant to say was: "The public transportation system in Hong Kong is good, and I am wonderfully amazed at its operation," not questioning whether it is still running, haha
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Old June 25th, 2013, 08:52 PM   #3334
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End of the line for MTR 10-cent levy
The Standard
Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 10 HK cent surcharge per trip that MTR users pay to help cover the bill for platform screen doors and automatic platform gates will be scrapped early next year after being in place for more than a decade.

But the announcement failed to placate opponents who questioned why the public had to pay for capital projects and demanded the money be returned.

At Admiralty station, a group of Neo Democrats displayed placards denouncing the fees - which will total about HK$1.15 billion by next April.

Assuming the railway carries five million passengers daily, this amounts to at least HK$230 per passenger.

Speaking in the Legislative Council, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said that up to April this year, the company collected HK$1.063 billion from Octopus card users to foot half of the bill for the installation.

He said the MTR will cancel the levy at the end of the first quarter of 2014 when it will have collected HK$1.15 billion.

He said the railway's original investment plan when constructing the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong and Island lines did not include the capital cost for installing platform screen doors and consequently commuters had to contribute half of the cost.

He added that in discussions with the company the government had indicated that passengers should not be charged for capital projects in the future.

"To address passengers' concerns and the latest requirement on railway safety, the government is discussing with the MTR Corp an arrangement whereby passengers will not have to bear part of the capital cost," Cheung said.

Neo Democrats lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai said it was unfair to passengers since the MTR pocketed all advertising revenue.

He called on the company to deduct the installation costs from the advertising revenue so that the charge to passengers can be stopped as soon as possible.

Cheung said profits generated by advertising are included in the company's underlying business profits. The company will set aside money for the "fare concession account" to provide same- day second-trip discounts.

Passenger Eddie Wong said the corporation was absolutely wrong to charge passengers for its facilities and then pocket the advertising revenue.

"The MTR is already making a huge profit every year. It is akin to cheating by asking passengers to pay for its facilities while pocketing the advertising revenue," Wong said.

An MTR spokeswoman said all stations other than the 22 on the East Rail and the Ma On Shan extension now have platform screen doors.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 04:48 AM   #3335
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MTR hiring spree gains speed
The Standard
Thursday, June 27, 2013

MTR Corp (0066) will offer 2,400 jobs at the weekend - the first step of a massive hiring spree as it gets ready to build five railway lines.

The territory's sole railway operator said it will need to recruit up to 22,000 people this year as the construction of the five rail projects reach a peak.

The firm is organizing a two- day career expo this weekend at Fortune Metropolis mall next to the Hung Hom MTR station, projects director Chew Tai-chong said yesterday.

A total of 17 contractors are participating in the expo.

More than 16,000 frontline workers and around 6,000 managerial, supervisory and technical professionals are required this year, Chew said.

MTRC is set to build the West Island Line, the eastern part of the South Island Line, Express Link, Sha Tin to Central Link and the extension of the Kwun Tong Line.

Jobs on offer at the expo include those for carpenters, welders, excavators, bar benders and fixers, scaffolders, electricians, engineers, safety managers, quantity surveying managers and environmental managers.

The company is hoping its recruitment will further relax the unemployment pressure, especially as fresh graduates and school leavers join the workforce.

The latest seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March to May fell to 3.4 percent from the 3.5 percent recorded in the previous three- month period.

Chew urged the younger generation to grasp the opportunity to develop a potential lifelong career in the construction industry.

Separately, MTRC said it now provides free life insurance for all its workers on the five new rail projects. Also, all workers are given a mandatory 15-minute rest break after every 90 minutes of work to cope with the hot weather. The breaks will be effective until September.

Singer Ella Koon Yun-na will act as youth ambassador for the construction industry during the expo
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 01:51 PM   #3336
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3.4 unemployment? Wow, that's nothing. Australia hovers at around 5% and that's considered "full employment" to us.

Great to see so many jobs coming online, and even better to see 5 new train lines under construction!

What is the funding model for the lines? Does the MTR finance them entirely in order to access property rights, or does some money come from the HK Government, and Beijing?
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 02:07 PM   #3337
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3.4 unemployment? Wow, that's nothing. Australia hovers at around 5% and that's considered "full employment" to us.

Great to see so many jobs coming online, and even better to see 5 new train lines under construction!

What is the funding model for the lines? Does the MTR finance them entirely in order to access property rights, or does some money come from the HK Government, and Beijing?
Property development and fares fund the MTR. No other government subsidies.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 07:26 PM   #3338
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Property development and fares fund the MTR. No other government subsidies.
How does the government pressure MTR into building lines that the government deems necessary?
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 11:55 PM   #3339
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How does the government pressure MTR into building lines that the government deems necessary?
By owning 76% of the company responsible for the HK MTR (MTR Corp) I would guess.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 04:50 AM   #3340
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Thanks!
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