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Speech by CS at Hong Kong Tramways' 110th anniversary reception (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a reception to celebrate Hong Kong Tramways' 110th anniversary this evening (July 18):

Consul-General (Mr Arnaud Barthélémy), Mr (Jean-Marc) Janaillac, Mr (Cyril) Carniel, Mr (Emmanuel) Vivant, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good evening. It is my great pleasure to officiate at this reception to celebrate Hong Kong Tramways' 110th anniversary of service.

     To those who were born and brought up in Hong Kong like me, the tram is indeed part of our lives - "We All Grow Up with Ding-ding". In operation since 1904, the tramway has all along been an important player in the daily commute on Hong Kong Island. It has been, and will continue to be, part of our heritage and collective memory.

     The tramway has grown with our city. It started with a small fleet of 26 tramcars. Today, it boasts a much bigger fleet of over 160 double-deck tramcars, the largest in the world. Every day, about a fifth of a million of our public transport trips are made on the 30-kilometre-long tramway. The tramway, with a more relaxed pace, is highly affordable and good for air quality. There is no roadside emission from the system all the way from Shau Kei Wan to Kennedy Town.

     Though with a traditional façade, our tram is "young at heart". Hong Kong Tramways has embarked on a modernisation programme since 2010. Whilst keeping the vintage look that we all know so well, the interior of the tramcars has been upgraded with a contemporary design including ergonomic seats and an energy-saving lighting system. The tram body has also adopted a build that is more environmentally friendly and provides greater safety. Better passenger information is also provided. New energy and vibrancy have been injected into our century-old icon to catch up with the latest needs.

     Apart from providing passenger transport, our tramway has added novel features to its mainline business. Hosting parties on the two antique tramcars are celebrations in style. Indeed, I note that Hong Kong Tramways itself debuted its series of 110th anniversary celebratory activities by having the tram as a moving stage for a music concert, from city folk to jazz, just last month. And I very much look forward to seeing the entries for the Photo and Story Competition, which document the memorable moments that people from different walks of life in Hong Kong had with the tram.

     On this memorable occasion, I would like to congratulate the staff receiving the long service awards in a moment. Your commitment and dedication are certainly the most valuable asset of the company and of our community. With such a team, I am sure the company will continue to grow from strength to strength in the years to come. Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, July 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:26


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