Following is the translation of a speech by the Acting Secretary for Transport, Mr Kevin Ho, in moving a resolution under Section 31 of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 372) Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation(Amendment) Bylaw 2000 in the Legislative Council today (June 14):
I move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper that the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bylaw 2000 be approved.
Section 31 of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) Ordinance empowers the Corporation to make bylaws and provides that they shall be subject to the approval of this Council.
At present, the KCRC By-laws empower the Corporation to levy those East Rail passengers travelling without a valid ticket a surcharge equivalent to a maximum of five times the standard single adult fare between Hung Hom and Lo Wu. This is different from the corresponding Bylaws governing the KCRC Light Rail and the Mass Transit Railway, both of which set the surcharge at fifty times of the maximum adult single fares on the respective railways. In line with the arrangements for the Light Rail and the Mass Transit Railway, the KCRC has amended its Bylaws to give it the flexibility to increase the surcharge on East Rail to a maximum of fifty times of the highest standard class single fare. Subject to the approval of the amendments by this Council, the KCRC plans to raise the surcharge on East Rail passengers to $500 with effect from August 1, 2000 i.e. the same as the present Mass Transit Railway surcharge. The KCRC will mount an extensive passenger publicity programme in June and July, reminding the passengers of the increase in surcharge.
The government will request KCRC to conduct consultation before implementation of any revision of surcharge in the future. The consultation process can ensure the setting of, in terms of effectiveness, an appropriate level of surcharge. It also serves effectively as a means of publicity.
At present, the Mass Transit Railway Bylaws empower the Mass Transit Railway Corporation to require a person who is reasonably suspected of committing or attempting to breach the relevant Bylaws (e.g. fare evasion) to give his personal particulars, including telephone number, for enforcement purposes. Having reviewed its East Rail and Light Rail operation, the KCRC has made similar amendments to its Bylaws to enable its staff to obtain the telephone number, in addition to name and address, of those passengers who are not able to pay the surcharge on the spot. This will enable the KCRC staff to follow-up with these passengers to remind them of the need to pay the outstanding surcharges within 14 days or to ensure the surcharge demand notice will be served to the correct address. The KCRC has consulted the Office of the Privacy Commissioner which indicated no objection to the legislative amendments.
The amendments under the KCRC (Amendment) Bylaw 2000 include:
(a) enhancing the flexibility of the definition of "smart card" by including other forms (other than that of a card) in which the smart card technology may be utilised;
(b) providing to the Corporation the flexibility to impose surcharges up to an amount which is in line with that of the other railway transport provider in Hong Kong;
(c) providing with clarity the name of the station (the "Hung Hom Station") under Bylaw 79(3) to avoid confusion with other railway stations bearing a similar or almost similar name to the Kowloon station; and
(d) enabling the staff of, or persons authorised by, the Corporation to obtain the telephone number of an offender.
The Amendment Bylaw was made by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation on May 12, 2000. I commend it to this Council for approval.
Madam, I beg to move.
End/Wednesday, June 14, 2000