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Old July 25th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #261
mopc
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The pix on this page are just amazing!!!! These double deckers are the soul of HK.

Does any other city in the world have double decker trams?
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Old July 25th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by mopc View Post
The pix on this page are just amazing!!!! These double deckers are the soul of HK.

Does any other city in the world have double decker trams?
Blackpool in the UK, and Alexander City in Egypt are the two other cities in the world has double-decker tram.
But Hong Kong is the only place that has a 100% fleet in double-decker, where the other two are a mix of single and double.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #263
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Opponents rail at proposed tram fare rises
13 August 2010
The Standard

Hong Kong Tramways is under fire from activists and political groups for proposing fare rises of up to 30 percent in its first fare adjustment in 12 years.

Adult fares would go up 25 percent to HK$2.50, from HK$2, while children's fare would jump to HK$1.30, from HK$1, a 30 percent rise.

The tram operator said profits in 2009 dropped to HK$8.8 million, with projected losses starting from next year unless the fares are increased due to increasing labor and electricity costs.

But a spokesman for the Coalition to Monitor Public Transport and Utilities, Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, said it is not the right time to raise fares.

He warned that the move could lead to similar increases by other transport operators.

The Democratic Party called the increase ``insane,'' being higher than the inflation rate.

It asked the tram operator, owned by French company Veolia Transport, to provide better service by offering more routes, improving trams' punctuality and environment before applying for a fare increase.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said the proposed rise is unreasonable, citing a survey done between April and May where 80 percent of the 500 respondents hoped the tram fare would not change.

Around 230,000 passengers take the tram daily _ about 50 percent less than 20 years ago _ and that has decreased by 1.5 percent annually in recent years.

The tram operator is hoping to increase fares in November to fund a multimillion-dollar upgrade.

The extra income is expected to bring HK$20 million to HK$25 million a year.

``We think it would be sufficient to help us to do the investment,'' said Bruno Charrade, managing director of Hong Kong Tramways.

The project includes upgrading of the emergency braking system and improving tram body and interior design.

Hong Kong's tram operator has been urged to increase revenue by selling more advertisements, instead of raising fares. However, the company said tram body and shelter advertisement has almost been fully utilized and is an unstable source of income.

The Transport Department said it would consider the economic situation, citizen's acceptance, the company's performance and the improvement plan before passing the proposal to the Executive Council.

Monthly tickets will rise from HK$170 to HK$210.

Senior citizens' fares will be unchanged until November next year after which they will increase to HK$1.10.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 05:57 PM   #264
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Fare-hike anger rides high
The Standard
Thursday, August 19, 2010

A group of netizens commandeered the upper deck of a tram in North Point yesterday to protest the proposed 25 percent hike in tram fares.

The 20 protesters were joined midway through the trip by legislator Leung Kwok-hung who accused Hong Kong Tramways of reneging on a promise not to increase fares.

The noisy, but peaceful, demonstration ended with protesters handing a petition to a tram official at the Whitty Street depot in Western.

The netizens had answered calls for action on a Facebook page. About 20 of them, plus a further 20 reporters, crammed into the upper deck, forcing regular commuters to use the lower deck.

They said they were throwing a tram party at a mere HK$2 a head.

The "hijacked" tram attracted onlookers while a police car drove alongside.

Protesters blew vuvuzelas and tied banners reading "Tram fare rise will trigger price hikes and hurt the common people" to tram windows.

A passenger, Shek Chung-ming, was sympathetic to their cause.

"Their demand is totally reasonable and the way they are voicing their objections is acceptable," he said.

Leung said: "France-based Veolia Transport said it would improve service quality without increasing the fare after acquiring Hong Kong Tramways, now it's obvious it lied."

Protest organizer Jeffrey Chung Shek-yan said: "The company should first look for new sources of revenue like attracting advertisements on top of tram stops instead of raising fares."
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 07:09 PM   #265
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Hong Kong has an amazingly cheap, frequent & reliable public transport system. The people are definately spoiled.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:04 AM   #266
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No fare rise for 4 years: tram firm
20 August 2010
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong Tramways says there will be no more fare increases for at least the next four years if the government approves its proposal to raise fares from HK$2 to HK$2.50.

Company managing director Bruno Charrade made the pledge yesterday, but said the increase could result in daily patronage falling by 6 to 9 per cent.

"The decline in patronage expected at the fare increase implementation is what we called an elasticity impact - part of it can be caught up in the short term, but the impact of the new MTR extension will be much more than that."

Charrade said Tramways, which has seen passenger numbers fall by 1.5 per cent every year, could lose 10 times that number when the MTR's West Island Line begins operation in 2014. But he said the company's plan to improve services could bring some passengers back, depending on how much it is able to achieve.

"If we cannot get the fare increase we asked for, we will not be able to implement all the improvements. And with a reduced speed of implementation, the positive impact will be very limited and it doesn't secure the system's sustainability - which means I might have to come back in two to three years with another request for a fare increase."

A calculation by the South China Morning Post based on public figures found that Tramways would still see a slight jump in fare revenue with a 50 HK cents increase, even if patronage fell by 15 per cent. Revenue would rise more than 13 per cent if patronage dropped by 7.5 per cent.

But if the government only allows an increase of 20 HK cents, Tramways would fall into deficit with a 15 per cent drop in passengers. It would break even with a 7.5 per cent fall.

That means it will take the company decades to recoup its HK$200 million investment to improve services in the next five years. It plans to increase the frequency of services, replace cables with more durable ones, reduce track noise, improve the interior of trams, add more powerful engines that would enable trams to be air-conditioned and provide better information to passengers.

Passengers aged over 65 would be exempted from the fare rise until November next year, when they would pay an extra 10 HK cents. Children would pay HK$1.30 under the plan.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 08:38 PM   #267
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By FX7611 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :





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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:02 PM   #268
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thats awesome
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #269
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Opinion : Operator should refit trams and revise routes to boost usage
20 August 2010
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong Tramways operates the cheapest form of public transport in the city and has not raised tram fares for 12 years.

Now it wants an increase of 50 cents so it can introduce various upgrades.

I have a number of ideas about what improvements I would like to see.

First of all, there should be greater frequency on some routes. There are certainly problems with frequency, with the trams running in the northern part of Hong Kong Island where the traffic sometimes appears to be one way.

On one occasion, I was waiting to catch a tram from Wan Chai to Causeway Bay, but all I saw were trams bound for Western district.

I think the longer journeys have to be broken down into smaller loops.

For busy areas like Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, additional trams should be provided.

If trams are more frequent, Hong Kong Tramways' revenue will increase.

With more trams on busy routes, the operator can attract a greater number of advertisers who will appreciate the high-profile presentations available to them.

I would also like to see air-conditioning on the upper deck, given that our summers are getting hotter.

On a sunny day, travelling on a tram can be an uncomfortable experience.

However, I know some passengers prefer the fresh air blowing through the windows, which is why air-cons should be restricted to the upper deck, giving people a choice.

The other option would be to have some trams which are all-air-conditioned and some which are not, again offering passengers a choice.

If there is some air-conditioning, I am sure the operator will see an increase in patronage as people will appreciate the added comfort with the promise of a cooler trip.

The fare rise could also finance a mechanical upgrade of the trams to increase their speed.

This will be a real advantage in busy districts on Hong Kong Island such as Causeway Bay and Wan Chai.

This city moves at a fast pace and trams have to reflect that.

If they are faster they can increase their carrying capacity and this will inevitably boost the operators' profits.

There are constant technological changes and improvements to transport systems.

Hong Kong Tramways has to respond to these changes if it wants to remain competitive.

I really hope that with increased fares, we will see a better service.

Tang Chi-chung, Tsz Wan Shan
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Old October 11th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #270
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50 cents well spent on moving with the times
7 October 2010
South China Morning Post

What can you expect for 50 cents these days? In the case of plans for the city's century-old trams quite a lot, although some may not appreciate a makeover for our oldest functioning heritage item. Hong Kong Tramways' new owner is giving us a glimpse of what we can get in return for the 25 per cent rise it has asked the government to approve in the standard HK$2 fare, which has not been increased for 12 years.

A prototype of a new-look tram will soon be travelling back and forth between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, and the opinions of focus groups and commuters sampled. The first impressions of our reporter were that it was a reminder of the smooth functionality of an MTR train and the seating in a double-decker bus; and you no longer have to be careful your bag does not get caught in the turnstiles, which are replaced by automatic swing-entry gates.

None of this detracts from the trams' social advantage over the buses they often overtake in heavy traffic - environment-friendliness. Owner Veolia Transport, a French multinational, argues that this virtue will be enhanced by the replacement of wooden bodywork with longer-lasting, more easily maintained aluminium.

That sounds a reasonable deal for 50 cents, when you throw in plans to upgrade tracks to reduce noise and friction and install better motors to improve speed, torque and traction. The government should also try its hardest to accommodate a request for more turn-arounds between Wan Chai and North Point to enable more flexible services to meet demand, especially in the west of the island.

First reactions are understandably mixed. They include nostalgia for an antiquated form of transport before it goes the way of so much of our heritage. Transport, however, must move with the times. The passing of steam locomotion in other places had the same effect on people, leading to the creation of railway historical societies and the preservation of the odd locomotive which is fired up now and then for steam train excursions for old and young alike. Our trams come from the same era. A few are worth preserving for posterity.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #271
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I made this tram route map. Enjoy.
Feel free to comment and contact me if you'd like to use or redistribute it somewhere else.

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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #272
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Old October 27th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #273
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Opinion : No need for noisy trams
26 October 2010
SCMP

A number of reports have appeared in the South China Morning Post about planned upgrades for Hong Kong Tramways' trams.

As someone who regularly uses the trams, I welcome the improvements as they will make the interior environment more comfortable for passengers.

However, there has been no mention of the exterior noise pollution that the trams cause for everyone who lives near the tramlines.

I realise that trams usually operate using steel wheels and rails, although I understand that in some other countries trams run on rubber wheels and make electrical contact with the ground through a central guiding metal rail. Rubber-wheeled systems operate in France and on the mainland.

I believe the loud noise of the trams in Hong Kong is because of the condition of the steel rails themselves.

I have noticed holes in the rails. And even where the rails have been repaired, the work has been done in a clumsy manner and the trams still make a noise.

I live on the top floor of a very high block in Wan Chai facing Johnston Road.

At night this part of Wan Chai is very peaceful, except for the constant "clunk-clunk" of trams rolling over broken and badly repaired rails.

I urge Hong Kong Tramways to do something about this at the same time as they upgrade the tram cars.

Tammie Yip Chi-ping, Wan Chai
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Old October 31st, 2010, 07:08 PM   #274
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Opinion : Bitter-sweet on new trams
12 October 2010
SCMP

After hearing the news about Hong Kong's new trams, I feel a little bit sad but also happy. I feel sad because the trams are important to us Hongkongers. The old trams provide transport, bring up childhood memories for the older generation and awaken a sense of belonging to Hong Kong for all of us.

Everything about the trams will be changed except how they look from the outside. They will be more stylish and hi-tech - which won't match their old-fashioned look. Foreigners love to take trams to get the feel of "old Hong Kong". After the renewal, they will feel nothing but comfort.

On the other hand I feel happy because the trams will be improved. Every time I step on a tram I feel hot, crowded etc. The new ones will be more comfortable and revitalised in a way more in keeping with the needs of the environment.

Howie Lee, Ma On Shan
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Old October 31st, 2010, 07:08 PM   #275
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theyre cool, but they can't survive without govt subsidies eh?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 06:34 PM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unspory View Post
theyre cool, but they can't survive without govt subsidies eh?
Actually, they're not financed by the public purse at all. They're owned by France's Veolia.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #277
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New trams roll on the right track
The Standard
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our 106-year-old tram system is being upgraded. The really good news is that Hong Kong Tramways is working hard to introduce a new fleet of tramcars that look and feel the way we like them and also have some sensible improvements.

When I went on a recent visit to the depot I was surprised at how well the company has replicated the traditional look of the trams. From the outside the new ones look much the same as the current batch, but the bodies are in fact aluminum, not wood.

To keep an authentic look, the interiors will still have some wooden trim.

One innovation will be LED signs to tell passengers where to get off for MTR stations and so on.

On the mechanical side, tracks will be improved, and the cars' acceleration and braking will be better and smoother. Expect a less bumpy ride.

The company has been sensitive about making changes because of a poor public reaction to new-look cars 10 years ago. Conservationists and the trams' own fan club took part in consultations on these upgrades. A few of the older-style cars will be kept.

Trams are still an important form of transport for those traveling short and medium distances along the north of Hong Kong Island. They are also an important part of our heritage. Hong Kong Tramways has set a good example of adapting to modern times while preserving the best of the traditional ways.

And one more bit of good news: the technical upgrades are all designed and made locally.

Bernard Charnwut Chan, chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, sees culture from all perspectives.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #278
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Tram negotiates through the North Point terminus :

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Last edited by hkskyline; November 20th, 2010 at 05:59 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 05:58 PM   #279
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Tram negotiates through the North Point terminus :

Miss the old ding-ding sound.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #280
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By 3ASV196 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

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