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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:09 AM   #301
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Hong Kong's century-old trams roll into the future
By Kwanwoo Jun (AFP) – 23 hours ago

HONG KONG — They shake, rattle and roll alongside flashy cars on streets lined with skyscrapers, but Hong Kong's retro-look trams are as much part of life in the glitzy city as they were a century ago.

Known as "ding-dings" for the sound of their bells, the iconic double-decker trams are beloved of tourists and are being celebrated in a city exhibition -- but for thousands of commuters and shoppers they remain daily workhorses.
Office worker Eric Lee says they have a special place in his heart and he often chooses a tram over the quicker and more comfortable public-transit options in the modern metropolis, including a super-efficient subway system.
The "ding ding" sound stopped Lee from crying when he was a child -- much to his mother's delight -- and later set him on a path to becoming a collector of tram memorabilia, some of which are on show at the exhibition.

"When I was young, I was always crying," the 26-year-old office worker told AFP, as he settled into a seat on a trolley's upper deck, giving him clear views of Hong Kong's teeming urban landscape.

"My mom brought me to the tram stop. When I heard the ding-ding sounds from trams, I stopped crying. I can't explain why. But it's such a good memory."

Lee has designed a tram-shaped wrist rest for computer keyboards, published a tram photobook and turned a tramcar into a coffee shop as part of the exhibition of some 300 items displayed at Victoria Peak, a tourist attraction overlooking the city and harbour.

Not all Hong Kong residents are quite so taken by the former British colony's 107-year-old system, the largest of its kind still in operation, which has survived despite heavy competition from cars, buses and subways.

But at HK$2.30 (29 US cents) for a ride anywhere on the 118-stop system, which traces much of Hong Kong's old shoreline along a 30 kilometre (18-mile) track, it remains popular while trams have disappeared from most major cities.
Apart from the price, a whiff of nostalgia blowing through the open windows in the sealed and air conditioned city also draws passengers to the teeth-chattering and often crowded rides on one of the 163 trams.

"It has become a part of Hong Kong, and it's our heritage," said local lawmaker Pan Pey Chyou.

"I just couldn't imagine what Hong Kong island would look like without the trams being there."

British tourist Rupert Shield, 38, figured the system was "definitely worth two dollars and thirty (cents)", despite the lack of air conditioning.
"A bit hot, a bit crowded, but you know you get a good view from up top," he said.

"I'm surprised many people still use it other than tourists," he added.
In many European and North American cities, tram systems had disappeared by the mid-20th Century as critics dismissed them as too rigid and vulnerable to delays caused by a single accident.

But now some large urban centres, including Paris and Auckland, are taking another look, as they restore, upgrade or even expand their electric-powered streetcar system, citing its environmental and cultural heritage value.

French utility giant Veolia, which took over management of Hong Kong's tram service in 2009 and bought the system outright in 2010, is upgrading the city's system with more comfortable seating, while keeping the cars' heritage facade.

"No one can say forever. But personally, I think that (the tram system) will stay here for a very, very long time," said legislator Pan.
"I think for the next century, probably it will still be there."

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...3946576610.331

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Old September 12th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #302
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Old October 25th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #303
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Old October 29th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #304
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FREE Ride on the "HKU 100" Tram (Oct 30, 2011)

Option 1:
A special guided tram tour by Prof. Anthony Yeh, Department of Urban Planning and Design and Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning.

Assembly: G/F Haking Wong Building, The University of Hong Kong
Departure time: 12:30pm
Route: NON-STOP from Whitty Street Depot to the Causeway Bay Terminus
(a free coach from the HKU campus to Whitty Street Depot will be provided)
Trip Duration: Approximately 1 hour
Language: Cantonese
Quota: 35 passengers (first-come, first-served)

Option 2:
FREE tram ride

Assembly: Causeway Bay Terminus (near Regal Hongkong Hotel)
Departure time: 1:45pm
Route: NON-STOP from the Causeway Bay Terminus to Whitty Street Depot
(a free coach from Whitty Street Depot to the HKU campus will be provided)
Trip Duration: Approximately 1 hour
Quota: 35 passengers (first-come, first-served)

More Info : http://www.dupad.hku.hk/cusup/tram/
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:06 PM   #305
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Old November 20th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #306
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Old November 30th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #307
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Trusty `Ding Ding' rings in changes to unseat rivals
The Standard
Tuesday, November 29, 2011



For 107 years, the iconic tram has been known to locals as "Ding Ding" - the distinctive sound of its warning bell to pedestrians on the street.

Now Hong Kong Tramways managing director Bruno Charrade has added a "zing" to the mix, with four newly renovated trams joining the fleet, as part of a program that will eventually see the upgrading of nearly all 163 trams in the next 10 years.

The original plan called for a sprucing up of all trams within five years, but this was scaled back after the government last year approved a fare rise of 30 HK cents not the 50 HK cents sought.

Charrade says the fare, now HK$2.30 a ride to any destination, will remain the same as the upgrade continues - at least for the foreseeable future.

But he hopes the upgrade will lure back those passengers who have found other modes of transport.

"Every year we are losing 1.5 to 2 percent in the overall number of passengers. This rate has been steady in recent years," Charrade said.

"We hope this new page in passenger comfort and safety will help regain passengers and stop the progressive decline in ridership."

The trams currently serve an average of 230,000 passengers daily.

The company plans to spend a total of HK$200 million on the renovation project, with one refurbished tram coming on stream every month, starting in December.

Charrade said the improvement measures began last year. After nearly a year of trial runs of the prototype, and following encouraging feedback from the public, the various stakeholders were consulted and the plan put into action.

The changes call for the DC (direct current) traction system to be replaced with AC motors which, in the long term, will reduce maintenance costs.

With regard to passenger comfort, benches are being replaced with individual seats, while the entrance turnstiles will give way to infra-red light monitors.

"The overall tram system will foster a safer, more reliable, as well as green and energy-saving transportation service," Charrade said.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng Yu-wah said the tram is something with which every Hongkonger is familiar.

"Ding Ding has always been part of the collective memory of residents, as it is a low cost and convenient choice of public transport," Cheng said.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #308
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Tram Exhibition at Blue House

Web : http://wclive.sjs.org.hk/?q=node/142

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Old December 7th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #309
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New sound clips from the renovated trams are now out. Credits go to hkvvvf.






Last edited by Fan Railer; December 7th, 2011 at 10:42 PM. Reason: added videos
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Old January 16th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #310
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By AVW21 from a Hong Kong transport forum :

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Old January 26th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #311
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image hosted on flickr

120_a by km30192002, on Flickr
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 04:05 PM   #312
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By Thomas from a Hong Kong discussion forum :









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Old February 4th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #313
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By tridentenviro from a Hong Kong bus forum :

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Old February 17th, 2012, 04:53 PM   #314
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Source : http://www.fotop.net/KennethL







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Old February 19th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #315
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By Wattyung from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #316
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More on my website : http://www.globalphotos.org/hk-tram17.htm
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Old March 1st, 2012, 12:39 PM   #317
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LCQ5: Public transport concessions scheme for the elderly and persons with disabilities
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Wong Kwok-hing and a reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (February 15):

Question :

The tram, which is one of the mass transit carriers with the longest history in Hong Kong, has been providing service for people on Hong Kong Island for over 100 years and is frequently patronised by the elderly and persons with disabilities (PWDs). According to the statistical information from Hong Kong Tramways, Limited (HKT), the tram has a daily passenger volume of about 230 000 passenger trips, and it has been learnt that among this daily passenger volume, 15% are elderly people aged 65 and above, which amount to almost 35 000 passenger trips per day and about 12.7 million passenger trips per year in aggregation. However, in the public transport fare concessions scheme (fare concessions scheme) to be launched by the Government for the elderly and eligible PWDs in the middle of this year, the tram, which is frequently patronised by the elderly, is not included. In his reply to a Member's question in the Question and Answer Session of this Council on October 13 last year, the Chief Executive (CE) said that discussions with HKT would be required before considering whether free tram rides would be offered to the elderly. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that HKT offers a concessionary fare of $1 per trip for the elderly at present, whether the Government has actively considered including the tram in the fare concessions scheme by reimbursing HKT the $1 concessionary fare according to the number of passenger trips actually taken by the elderly and PWDs, and introducing this fare concession in tandem with the fare concessions of the MTR and franchised buses, etc; if it has not, of the reasons for that;

(b) whether the Government has discussed with HKT to include the tram in the fare concessions scheme; if it has, of the result and the timetable; and

(c) since CE announced the launch of the fare concessions scheme in the 2011-2012 Policy Address, whether other public transport operators (operators), apart from those of MTR, franchised buses and ferries, have indicated interest to the Government in participating in the scheme; if so, which operators have indicated such interest and how the Government responded to them; if not, whether the authorities will consider actively inviting various operators to participate in the scheme, so that the scheme may cover more modes of transport when it is launched this year, thereby facilitating the elderly and PWDs in commuting?

Reply :

President,

My reply to the Hon Wong Kwok-hing's question is as follows:

(a) and (b) In his Policy Address last year, the Chief Executive proposed a public transport concessions scheme for the elderly and persons with disabilities (the Scheme) to enable all elderly people aged 65 or above and eligible persons with disabilities to travel on the general Mass Transit Railway (MTR) lines, franchised buses and ferries anytime at a concessionary fare of $2 a trip. The Scheme aims to encourage the elderly and eligible persons with disabilities to participate in more community activities, thereby enriching social capital and developing a spirit of care and inclusiveness.

The basic principle of the Scheme is that on the premise of maintaining existing fare concessions by the public transport operators concerned, the Government will provide additional resources for offering a concessionary fare of $2 per trip. At present, the elderly concessionary fare of tram is $1, which is lower than the $2 fare proposed by the Government under the Scheme. Therefore, the Administration plans to launch the Scheme initially on the three major modes of public transport, viz MTR, franchised buses and ferries (which account for about 70% of our average daily public transport patronage). After the full implementation of the Scheme for a period of time, we will review the feasibility of extending its scope.

The Administration has explained to the Hong Kong Tramways Limited (HKT) the policy objective and basic principle of the Scheme.

(c) Apart from HKT, some public light bus (PLB) groups have requested that PLBs be covered under the Scheme. As pointed out in my reply to a Legislative Council's written question on December 14, 2011, there are currently many PLB operators and they are generally of a small scale and with different modes of operation and financial positions. Moreover, not all PLB operators provide concessionary fare to the elderly and persons with disabilities. To enable the elderly and eligible persons with disabilities to enjoy the concessionary fare as soon as possible, our priority is to launch the Scheme first on the three major modes of public transport, viz MTR, franchised buses and ferries. Following the full implementation of the Scheme for a period of time, we will review the feasibility of extending its scope.

We have explained to the PLB groups concerned the policy objective and basic principle of the Scheme.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #318
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Old March 9th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #319
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/hpicckcy/the_tram_road





















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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #320
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Will this thread ever make it to the next page? =_=

EDIT: I guess not, lol.
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