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LCQ8: Nuisance behaviour in MTR train compartments

     Following is a question by the Ir Dr Hon Raymond Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (February 15):


     There have been media reports from time to time that the behaviour of some individual passengers in MTR train compartments contravenes the provisions in the Mass Transit Railway By-Laws (Cap. 556B) (the By-Laws) and causes nuisance to other passengers, and dissuasion or intervention by other passengers often results in verbal or physical conflicts.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows the statistics on complaints about acts of contravention or nuisance behaviour of MTR passengers in train compartments in each of the past three years;

(b) of the number of passengers being prosecuted for breaching the By-Laws in the past three years, broken down by year and the act of contravention concerned; and

(c) whether it knows if the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) has assigned dedicated staff members to report on passengers who contravene the By-Laws; if MTRCL has not, of the reasons for that; if MTRCL has, whether MTRCL will consider stepping up its efforts in reporting on such passengers in order to achieve a deterrent effect and reduce disputes among passengers caused by such acts of contravention?



     The reply to various parts of the question is as follows:

(a) The number of passenger complaints received by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) from 2009 to 2011 against inappropriate passenger behaviour occurred within the railway premises is as follows:

Year                  2009     2010     2011
Number of complaints   49       60      125

     The above complaint cases involve passengers bringing oversized luggage into railway premises, eating or drinking inside the paid area, sitting on train floor, playing inside stations, indulging in personal behaviour that causes nuisance to other passengers, and asking passengers for newspapers or soliciting for business, etc.

     The MTRCL does not maintain separate figures on the number of complaints against inappropriate passenger behaviour inside train compartments.

(b) Matters such as fares and tickets, conduct of passengers and activities of members of the public within the railway premises etc are regulated by the Mass Transit Railway By-laws (MTR By-laws).

     The number of cases in which passengers demonstrated inappropriate behaviour that violated MTR By-laws and were prosecuted between 2009 and 2011 is set out in the Annex.

     When handling passengers' inappropriate behaviour, MTR staff will generally make verbal requests or issue written warnings depending on the seriousness of the situation.  If the inappropriate behaviour is not rectified after repeated requests, MTR staff will collect relevant personal information from the passenger for initiating prosecution.  In fact, in most cases, the passengers concerned will stop their inappropriate behaviour after MTR staff have made requests or issued written warnings.

(c) MTR staff conducts patrols in stations and train compartments on a daily basis to perform related duties.  The MTRCL encourages passengers to report to MTR staff as soon as possible in case they are disturbed by other passengers' behaviour for immediate handling.

     To strengthen its efforts in combating fare evasion, enforcing MTR By-laws and to assist in the management of passenger flow in stations more effectively, the MTRCL set up the By-laws Inspection Unit (BIU) in April 2009, which consists of 29 staff with experience in disciplinary services and 74 contract security staff.  The BIU works hand-in-hand with station staff, the Ticket Inspection Unit and the Railway District Police to maintain order in stations.

     Meanwhile, the MTRCL reminds passengers to be considerate and not to cause any inconvenience to other passengers through regular passenger education and promotional activities such as conducting courtesy and safety campaigns, as well as through the media, in-train public announcements, passenger publications and promotional leaflets.

Ends/Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:05


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