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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #881
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Old June 26th, 2005, 08:14 AM   #882
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$8.3b KCRC project to link East and West rails gets 'go signal' from Exco
Winnie Chong, Hong Kong Standard
June 25, 2005

The Executive Council gave the KCRC the go-ahead Friday to build its Kowloon Southern Link railway.

The HK$8.3 billion underground project will link the East Rail's East Tsim Sha Tsui station with the West Rail terminal at Nam Cheong. The new line will end at a station close to the China Ferry Terminal.

According to a spokesman, work on the 3.8-kilometer line will begin later this year and should be completed in 2009. The project will be funded entirely by the KCRC.

Once the Southern Link is in operation, residents of the northwest New Territories will be able to travel direct to urban Kowloon.

The West Kowloon Station in Tsim Sha Tsui will be built on the site that is now occupied by the Canton Road Government Offices, which is only a few minutes walk from the China Ferry Terminal on Canton Road.

An earlier proposal to have a station close to Ocean Terminal was abandoned after a dispute between KCRC and Wharf Estates Development as to which side would foot the bill.

In January, a report by the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said such a station would not be cost-effective. According to projections supplied at the time, a Canton Road station would only result in a possible increase of 17,000 passengers on weekdays, against a total of 190,000 passengers expected to use the line.

The link was recommended in the Government's Railway Development Strategy published in 2000.

To minimize inconvenience to residents and possible traffic chaos during its construction, a spokesman said the link will be almost entirely underground.

The KCRC will establish groups to set traffic-control and road-surface maintenance guidelines.

Community groups will also be set up to assist all those affected by the construction.

Without the Canton Road station, passengers would have to walk from Tsim Sha Tsui East station to Canton Road via a HK$300 million subway to be built by the KCRC, the spokesman said.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 08:33 AM   #883
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New Issue-HK's MTR Corp unit places HK$500 mln note due 2020

HONG KONG, June 24 (Reuters) - The following fixed-rate note issue has been privately placed, lead manager HSBC said.

Issuer : MTR Corporation (C.I.) Ltd.
Guarantor : MTR Corporation Ltd.
Issue Amount : HK$500 million
Maturity Date : July 6, 2020
Coupon : 4.28 per cent per annum, payable quarterly
Issue Price : at par
Payment Date : July 4, 2005
Ratings : Aa3 / AA-
Listing : No
Denominations : 500,000
Governing Law : English
Sales Limits : Reg.S, TEFRA D, Not Rule 144a eligible, HK, UK, Cayman Islands
Documentation : Debt Issuance Programme
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Old June 27th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #884
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Sino Land wins bid for up to $9b KCR project
Developer shrugs off signs of property sector slowdown to build 2,500-unit residential estate at Wu Kai Sha station
Foster Wong and Ernest Kong
25 June 2005
South China Morning Post

Sino Land has beaten bigger rivals for the opportunity to invest up to $9 billion developing Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's more than 2,500-unit residential project at Wu Kai Sha station.

Despite signs of a housing sector slowdown reflecting on Hong Kong Monetary Authority figures, which showed the number and value of residential mortgages falling last month from April, Sino Land said the market was still promising and that it would develop the project on its own.

"We are confident of the Wu Kai Sha project, given the expected tight supply in the area," said Sino Land general manager of sales and marketing Mark Hahn Ka-fai.

Surveyors suggested that the $7.74 billion to $9 billion cost of the 1.85 million square foot project, which included the land premium, was pricey.

They expected Sino Land would need to sell the flats at a minimum of $5,000 per square foot, or 30 per cent higher than the prevailing market price of $3,800 per square foot in the area.

A cheaper price could erode the average 20 per cent profit margin developers aim for, considering the $2,965 per square foot land price and $1,200 per square foot construction cost.

Alvin Lam Tsz-pun, associate director of Midland Surveyors, said: "At $5,000 per square foot in Wu Kai Sha, this would be a very challenging pricing to achieve for Sino Land."

The Wu Kai Sha development, the first residential project tendered by KCRC this year, will be built along the Ma On Shan railway line in three phases. It will comprise seven 48-storey towers providing about 2,528 flats. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2008.

The land premium for the project's first phase of 1,008 units has been set at $2.03 billion, while the second- and third-phase premiums have yet to be determined.

Sino Land knocked out six rivals - including big guns Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong (Holdings) - to win the project, the first of five KCR developments up for tender this year. The others are at Nam Cheong, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan West stations on the West Rail line.

Some analysts expect the property market to cool in the short term as indicated in the HKMA home mortgage announcement yesterday.

New mortgage loans approved last month fell 24.1 per cent in value to $16.97 billion, while their number dipped 20.25 per cent to 10,425, the 24 banks authorised to participate in the HKMA's monthly survey of residential mortgage lending said. The number of new applications fell 32 per cent.

The value of mortgages for primary property transactions fell 26.62 per cent to $1.78 billion, while the value of mortgages for secondary flats fell 23.8 per cent.

Hendrick Leung Lee-chung, director and general manager of Centaline Finance, warned: "Both numbers of new mortgage approvals will continue to fall 15 per cent to 20 per cent when the HKMA announces the June figures."

However, developers show no sign of halting their sales.

Today, Cheung Kong is set to launch its flagship luxury project The Legend in Tai Hang.

The first batch of eight high-rise units ranging from 1,542 to 2,372 square feet to be released for sale are priced from $30.84 million to $49.81 million - an average price of about $20,000 per square foot, a price list released yesterday showed.

Managing director and deputy chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi said he was upbeat about the luxury sector. "There's practically no new supply," he said, adding he believed the new Tsang administration would boost the Hong Kong economy as a whole.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #885
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27 June 2005
Corporate Press Release
Normal Fares To Resume At MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station

Octopus cardholders transferring between the MTR and the KCR East Rail at Tsim Sha Tsui are reminded that normal fares will apply from 1 July 2005, after the expiry of an introductory Rail Interchange Discount.

The Interchange Discount was introduced to encourage passengers to try out the new interchange facility at Tsim Sha Tsui when the KCR East Railís new East Tsim Sha Tsui Station opened for service in October 2004 along with two convenient pedestrian subways beneath Mody Road and Middle Road.

From time to time, the Corporation provides different types of promotion and discount offers to promote railway usage and thank passengers for their support.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:18 AM   #886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfgadv02
New trains had damaged doors. It is said that people are cutting them up at night. Police are searching for possible motives. Argh...hope they get caught.




please dont damage them...those are one of the best trains on the planet!

Police...track those people down
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Old June 30th, 2005, 05:20 AM   #887
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^You can see how depressed the man is in that picture.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #888
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26 June 2005
Corporate Press Release
East Rail train compartmentís temperature setting

To provide passengers with a comfortable journey and to conserve energy, Kolwoon-Canton Railway Corporation pre-sets the saloon temperature of East Rail trains at 24 degree Celsius. Temperature sensors are also installed in the air-conditioning system to monitor saloon temperature. The train temperature will be adjusted automatically if it deviates from the preset temperature.

With respect to the places with low indoor temperature as listed in the press release issued by Friends of the Earth today, KCRC has immediately started an investigation into the case of low saloon temperature as recorded in an East Rail train.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 05:42 PM   #889
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Western on the MTR track
Chester Yung and Danny Chung, Hong Kong Standard
July 1, 2005


Green light for $7b West Island Line, with three new stations due for completion in four to five years

The end of a 20-year wait by the 200,000 travel-weary residents of Western District is in sight after the MTR Corp said Thursday it will extend the Island Line to cover the area.

Construction cost of the West Island Line is expected to be HK$6 billion-HK$7 billion, said MTRC chief executive Chow Chung-kong.

The new line, Chow said, will take four to five years to complete, and will be a three-kilometer extension of the Island Line starting from Sheung Wan, with three new stations at Sai Ying Pun, University and Kennedy Town.

On completion of the West Island Line, Chow said travel time from Kennedy Town to Central would be seven minutes, to Causeway Bay 13 minutes and to Tsim Sha Tsui 14 minutes. He also said fares for the new lines will be similar to the MTR's current fare structure.

Speaking after an Executive Council meeting, Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao said the planned West Island Line will be a convenient alternative to commuters in both the Western and Central districts who now rely mainly on other modes of public transport.

She said "the new rail line will generate significant transport and economic benefits to the community."

Liao added that, at present, there is congestion along the main corridors in Western District during rush-hour when traffic lines along Queen's Road Central and Des Voeux Road Central can be as long as one kilometer.

"As Western District is fully developed, there are serious constraints in constructing any new roads to alleviate the traffic congestion problem. The West Island Line will divert passengers from road-based transport to rail services and is, therefore, fully justified on transport grounds," Liao said.

She said the government will begin negotiations with the MTRC on the detailed scope, cost and implementation program for the West Island Line.

It was welcome news for Central and Western district council member Stephen Chan. He urged the MTR to start construction as soon as possible.


"Seven years of construction is far too long as we have been fighting [for an MTR line] for more than 20 years," Chan said.

Legco transport panel chairman Lau Kong-wah urged the government to speed up discussions with the MTR for the project to begin next year.


Responding to the MTR extension to Kennedy Town, a spokeswoman for both Citybus and New World First Bus admitted that it will have an impact, but said it is "too early to assess" the effect at this stage.


With regard to financing the new line, Chow said that as it was an infrastructure project, the government will have to subsidise part of the cost in order to allow the MTR to get a "commercial return on the investment."

"But if you look at it from an infrastructure investment point of view and a public spending point of view, it's a very cost effective way for the government," Chow said. This was because while the government has to meet 100 percent of capital investment and recurring maintenance costs for infrastructure like roads and highways, with the MTR, "normally" the level of government support was less than 50 percent of capital expenditure.

Chow said the MTR would continue to discuss financing options such as property rights, cash payments, capital injection and paying dividends with the government but said it was difficult to say when an agreement would be reached.


Meanwhile, the MTR said it will continue studying the proposed South Island Line, which has two sections, taking into account the latest proposals for tourism and commercial development of Southern District and Ocean Park. "According to our calculations, if the South Island Line is built, 30,000 jobs would be created in the area," Chow said.


The proposed eastern section would run seven kilometers from Admiralty via Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung to South Horizons.

The western section would run for eight kilometers from University station via Cyberport, Wah Fu and Aberdeen to Wong Chuk Hang.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 08:06 PM   #890
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Oh finally!! So glad, but the extension was previously erected before, so it should be easier for them.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 09:00 PM   #891
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Great news !!
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Old July 4th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #892
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Sunday July 3, 7:02 PM
Hundreds rally for discounts for handicapped people on Hong Kong subways

AP - Handicapped protesters, some in wheelchairs and others walking on crutches, crowded into a subway train in Hong Kong Sunday to demand a half-price discount fare for the disabled, police and local media said.

Television footage showed one protester with crutches being helped onto an escalator in a subway station. Another demonstrator, apparently blind, navigated with a cane and others traveled in wheelchairs.

The protesters chanted "we want half price" and carried signs that said, "live up to corporate social responsibility right away," and "reducing handicapped people's burden helps them fit into society."

Wong Chiu-yung, a spokeswoman for Hong Kong's subway operator, MTR Corp., said the company is focused on making its services more accessible for the handicapped but had no plans to offer them a discount.

Wong said MTR has spent more than 400 million Hong Kong dollars (US$51 million) on upgrading its infrastructure for the disabled in the past decade and plans to spend another HK$100 million (US$12.8 million) in the next five years.

Police spokeswoman Ivy Yue said 600 people participated in the demonstration. Hong Kong television station Cable TV said local disabled people and their relatives participated.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #893
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27 June 2005
Corporate Press Release
KCRC extends the West Rail discount for elderly and children

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) is pleased to extend the concession for children and senior citizens to ride West Rail for $2 on weekends and public holidays from 1 July until 31 December 2005 to encourage more families to use West Rail for fun and leisure outings.

Children aged between 3 and 11 and senior citizens aged 65 and over, who travel by West Rail using Octopus cards, will continue to be able to enjoy a $2 concessionary fare and free interchange with Light Rail, KCR feeder buses and other designated feeder services launched during the promotional period on weekends and public holidays.

At the same time, normal fares for Octopus card users transferring between East Rail and MTR at East Tsim Sha Tsui Station will be resumed on 1 July 2005 after the interchange discount ends as scheduled on 30 June 2005.

KCRC always makes efforts in introducing various tailor-made promotional initiatives to bring more benefits to regular passengers. For enquiries, passengers can call the KCRC Passenger Service Hotline at 2929 3399 or visit KCRCís website (http://www.kcrc.com).
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Old July 6th, 2005, 11:29 AM   #894
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WOW, how many kilometres is long all the lines?
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Old July 6th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #895
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East Rail (the former Kowloon Canton Railway - British Section) operates domestic as well as cross-boundary passenger services to the mainland boundary at Lo Wu. From the new East Tsim Sha Tsui terminus to Lo Wu Station, the East Rail line covers a distance of 35 kilometres with a total of 14 stations, including a Racecourse Station open on race days. All passenger services are provided by electric multiple unit (EMU) trains. The entire train fleet at present consists of 444 train cars.

West Rail is a 30.5km twin-track passenger railway with nine stations, West Rail links up Sham Shui Po in West Kowloon, via Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan with Yuen Long and Tuen Mun in the Northwest New Territories.

Serving the community of Ma On Shan, Ma On Shan (MOS) Rail provides reliable and convenient rail services between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai. It runs over a length of 11.4km and comprises 9 stations, including Tai Wai, Che Kung Temple, Sha Tin Wai, City One, Shek Mun, Tai Shui Hang, Heng On, Ma On Shan and Wu Kai Sha. The stations are within easy walking distance of the area's major residential developments.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 03:52 AM   #896
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LCQ1: MTR West Island Line to start planning and design
Government Press Release
Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Following is a question by the Hon Ma Lik and a reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, in the Legislative Council meeting today (July 6) :

Question:

In February this year, the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) submitted to the Government a revised project proposal on two railway extensions, namely the West Hong Kong Island Line (WIL) and the South Hong Kong Island Line (SIL). The Transport Panel of this Council also passed two motions in the same month urging the Government to expedite the construction of the railway extensions. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) the proposed implementation timetable for WIL; and

(b) whether WIL and SIL are still treated as a single project, and thus only one financial analysis report has been provided; if so, whether such an approach is the cause for WIL's not being implemented yet?

Reply :

Madam President,

The Chief Executive-in-Council has agreed that:

(i) the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) should be asked to proceed with the preliminary planning and design of the proposed "West Island Line" (WIL), involving the extension of the MTR Island Line from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town with two intermediate stations at Sai Ying Pun and University;

(ii) negotiations with the MTRCL on the detailed scope, cost and implementation programme for the WIL should commence; and

(iii) the proposed "South Island Line" (SIL) should be kept under review and its way forward considered in the light of the results of the review on the planning of tourism and commercial development in the Southern District due to be completed by the end of 2005 and our consideration of Ocean Park's redevelopment proposal.

We are following up the above decision, and are now negotiating with the MTRCL on the detailed scope, cost and implementation programme for the WIL. We hope that we can reach agreement with the MTRCL as soon as practicable.

In the revised proposal submitted by the MTRCL in February this year, the WIL is set out as one proposed project. The SIL is split into "South Island Line (East)" and "South Island Line (West)". A separate financial analysis on the WIL has been provided in the proposal.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #897
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Pulling all stops on railway funding
MTR's West Island line may cost the government $3.5b, writes Denise Tsang

7 July 2005
South China Morning Post

Now that the much-awaited West Island rail line has been given the green light, the government and MTR Corp are bargaining over funding for the $6 billion to $7 billion project.

After 20 years of discussions and revisions, the MTR last week was finally allowed to proceed with further planning of a 2.8km rail extension to Kennedy Town from Sheung Wan. It is expected that commuters who now take up to 25 minutes to get into Central in peak-hour traffic will do the trip underground in about eight minutes.

The government's approval was cheered by Western District residents, but the rail extension will not be ready for service until at least 2010, pending a compromise on filling a funding gap of several billion dollars for the project.

There are a number of entangling issues, including whether the government and the rail corporation should work on a sustainable funding alternative to the once financially proven property-plus-rail model and whether the two parties should compromise specifically on the West Island line project.

Other key questions are how much construction cost the government should bear and the type of subsidy to allow a return of 1 to 3 per cent above the MTR's weighted average cost of capital.

The discussions process is arduous. A case in point is the MTR's decision to shift its strategy of pursuing collective funding for both West Island and South Island rail lines by focusing on the West Island line at this stage.

The West Island project will require up to 50 per cent, or $3 billion to $3.5 billion, of government funding to generate "an acceptable commercial return", an MTR spokeswoman said.

"We are open to any form of funding as long as it helps us achieve our target return," she said.

Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung hinted last week that government's contribution to the construction cost could be in the form of cash, land grants and forgoing future MTR dividends.

An MTR insider suggested the subsidy could even be a reduction in some public transport choices such as franchised buses and minibuses to minimise competition.

However, a senior government official familiar with the project said negotiations would be lengthy as the bureau was pressing MTR to lower the construction cost.

"The construction cost is still expensive," the official said and pointed to limited land for property development in Western district and the government's housing policy as hurdles in determining the form of funding.

"The nature of the West Island rail project is different from other rail projects in new towns such as Tseung Kwan O and Tung Chung, where everything is built from scratch," the official said. "Therefore, the funding formula is likely to be applied specifically on the project."

Bill Barron, a senior fellow at public policy think-tank Civic Exchange and a former University of Hong Kong professor, called on the government to come up with a sustainable funding model for future rail projects.

"The government is doing things in an ad hoc manner again, which works against long-term planning of rail projects if the MTR doesn't know what the financing model will be," he said. "If the government finds it unacceptable to subsidise rail lines, why is it acceptable to pay for the construction and maintenance costs of roads?"

Comparing overseas experience in government subsidising rail projects, Mr Barron said cash grants were by far the best and most simple form of subsidy.

"The property-plus-rail model turns the MTR into a very good property developer, which by business nature it shouldn't have been," he said.

The model, which counts on government grants of land to the MTR to develop properties above train stations to create demand for rail services and subsidise rail construction costs is no longer feasible after the government modified its housing and land policies and the economy went through a long period of deflation.

"Even if we talk about granting the MTR land for the West Island line project, we have to take into consideration [Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands] Michael Suen [Ming-yeung]'s housing policy," the government official said.

"If we talk about giving cash funding, we need to convince [Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury] Frederick Ma [Si-hang] for spending billions of dollars of public money into a rail project with an aim to help the MTR achieve a commercial return," the official added.

No matter what funding solution is found for the West Island line, it will have far-reaching implications for future rail projects such as the MTR's South Island rail line and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp's Sha Tin to Central rail link.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 03:02 AM   #898
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地鐵幕門質素被轟
08/07/2005



【本報訊】地鐵公司昨日已暫停坑口站「飛站」事故肇事車長的駕駛職務,並協助調查事故。有立法會議員炮轟地鐵一方面向乘客收取月台幕門保養費,但卻不保證幕門服務質素,當局有需要加強監管。

允加強車長培訓

地鐵公司表示會加強車長的培訓,及採取適當措施以確保車長當值時提高警覺性,保證行車期間車門及月台幕門正常開啟。

理工大學機械工程系科學主任盧覺強指出,地鐵幕門及月台屬全自動系統,一旦出現故障,車長可改用人手即時開關補救,今次事件顯示了地鐵應開辦更多培訓提高車長應變能力。

立法會交通事務委員會主席劉江華建議政府除統計列車誤點率、班次等數據外,應統計各類事故數據來評估地鐵的表現。有議員不滿地鐵未來十年都會向乘客收取一角幕門建造及保養費,出現故障是不可接受的。
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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #899
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Yam O @ night by "1311" from a Hong Kong transport forum :









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Old July 10th, 2005, 04:46 AM   #900
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Views sought on the Tung Chung Cable Car Bylaw
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Government Press Release

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

The Legislative Council now invites members of the public and interested parties to express their views on the Tung Chung Cable Car Bylaw.

The Secretary for the Economic Development and Labour has given notice to move a motion at the Legislative Council meeting. The motion seeks the Legislative Council to approve the Tung Chung Cable Car Bylaw made by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited under section 22 of the Tung Chung Cable Car Ordinance (Cap. 577). At the House Committee meeting held on 17 June 2005, Members agreed to form a subcommittee to examine the Bylaw. The purpose of the Bylaw is to provide for matters relating to the control, operation and management of the Cable Car System and the traffic management in the Cable Car System Area. For details of the Bylaw and the relevant information, please visit the website:
http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr04-05/engl...neral/sc10.htm

A Subcommittee, chaired by Hon Miriam LAU Kin-yee, has been formed to study the Bylaw. Those interested in giving their views on the Bylaw are invited to send their written submissions (preferably in both Chinese and English) to the Clerk to the Subcommittee on or before 18 July 2005 (Monday). They are also requested to indicate whether they intend to make oral representations to the Subcommittee at its meeting to be held on 21 July 2005 (Thursday) at 8:30 am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. Submissions received will be made available to the media and the public and uploaded onto the Website of the Legislative Council unless advised otherwise.
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