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LCQ16 : Retrofitting of PSDs at MTR stations to be completed by 2006


Following is a question by the Dr Hon Fernando Cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 5):


The surcharge of ten cents per passenger trip levied on users of Octopus tickets since July 2000 is, according to the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), for funding the retrofitting of platform screen doors (PSDs) at MTR stations. MTRCL said at the time that the entire retrofitting programme would be completed by 2006. On the other hand, some organizations for the blind have told me about the frequent occurrence of accidents involving blind MTR passengers falling onto the rail track. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) the total amount of surcharge received by MTRCL since levying the additional fares;

(b) the number of blind MTR passengers who accidentally fell onto the rail track over the past four years;

(c) whether MTRCL will expedite the retrofitting of PSDs, so that the completion date of the retrofitting programme can be advanced; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d) the measures that MTRCL will take to ensure the safety of blind persons awaiting trains on the platforms of at-grade and overhead MTR stations where PSDs have not been retrofitted?


Madam President,

As at end-December 2004, the contribution of ten cents for each Octopus passenger trip collected by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) since July 2000 totalled about $0.3 billion for funding the Corporation's $2 billion programme to retrofit platform screen doors (PSDs) at MTR stations.

According to MTRCL, the numbers of visually impaired MTR passengers falling onto the rail track in the past four years are as follows:

                       Number of visually impaired passengers
Year                         falling onto the rail track
****                  **************************************
2001                                          3
2002                                          0
2003                                          2
2004                                          2
Total                                         7

The retrofitting programme of PSDs at 74 platforms of the 30 MTR underground stations (list at Annex) is scheduled for completion by 2006. MTRCL has advised us that such retrofitting works cannot be advanced as they involve major alterations to the stations, and the tunnel ventilation, air-conditioning and smoke extraction systems. Added to the complexity of the works is the need to carry out the works during the non-operating hours between 2 am and 5 am. Despite the technical complexities, MTRCL aims at completing the programme by 2006 as planned.

MTRCL always considers passenger safety its primary responsibility. It has adopted the following safety devices and arrangements in its daily operation to ensure the safety of visually impaired passengers in particular:

(a) tactile guide paths are installed alongside each MTR platform with special tiles to indicate the position of the train door openings for the visually impaired to wait for the trains;

(b) tactile yellow lines are installed at edges of platforms without PSDs to enable cane users to detect the platform edge;

(c) public address and train door closing chime are arranged to announce the approaching of trains and their destinations and indicate the closing of train doors;

(d) CCTV cameras are installed at every station platform to facilitate effective platform monitoring and management;

(e) station staff and additional platform assistants are deployed to maintain order and provide assistance to passengers at platforms especially during peak hours; and

(f) "Help Line" telephones and Emergency Train Stop buttons are installed at each platform for emergency use.

Appreciating the importance of maintaining communication with visually impaired passengers with a view to better understanding their needs when using the MTR service, the Corporation has regular meetings with various visually impaired groups to exchange views on how to further improve MTR facilities for their benefit.



List of MTR Stations Included in PSD Retrofitting Programme

1. Sheung Wan
2. Central
3. Admiralty
4. Wan Chai
5. Causeway Bay
6. Tin Hau
7. Fortress Hill
8. North Point
9. Quarry Bay
10. Tai Koo
11. Sai Wan Ho
12. Shau Kei Wan
13. Lam Tin
14. Choi Hung
15. Diamond Hill
16. Wong Tai Sin
17. Lok Fu
18. Kowloon Tong
19. Shek Kip Mei
20. Tsim Sha Tsui
21. Jordan
22. Yau Ma Tei
23. Mong Kok
24. Prince Edward
25. Sham Shui Po
26. Cheung Sha Wan
27. Lai Chi Kok
28. Mei Foo
29. Lai King
30. Tai Wo Hau
Ends/Wednesday, January 5, 2005


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