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Public transport services still seriously affected by protests
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     The Transport Department (TD) today (October 30) said that since the occupy movement started, extensive road transport services on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon have been seriously affected by road closures and traffic diversions. Despite some road sections being re-opened, public transport services are still being affected by the traffic situation, resulting in unstable operation and frequencies subject to temporary adjustments. This has also caused inconvenience to members of the public as they have to start their journeys early and allow more time for travelling.

     Hong Kong Tramways (HKT) noted that due to protesters' occupation of tram tracks on Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay, the tram service between Percival Street and Paterson Street is still suspended. Tram services are being operated in sections and services connecting the eastern and western parts of Hong Kong Island are yet to resume. HKT has been providing a free circular tram route between Victoria Park and Paterson Street since October 22. To bring further convenience to passengers, a free tram transfer service between the eastern and western areas is available starting today. Westbound passengers can obtain a same-day single trip coupon at the Victoria Park stop for boarding the tram at the nearby Foo Ming Street stop to continue the journey en route from Happy Valley to Kennedy Town. On the other hand, eastbound passengers can obtain a same-day single trip coupon at the Foo Ming Street stop for boarding a tram at the nearby Victoria Park stop to continue the journey to Shau Kei Wan. The free transfer coupon is valid on the issue date only.

     Representatives from HKT repeatedly have visited protesters occupying the tram tracks in Causeway Bay to have dialogue with them and to persuade them to release the tram tracks, but these efforts were in vain. Currently, tram cars on the eastern part of Hong Kong Island are unable to return to the Whitty Street depot in Western District for inspection and maintenance. These tram cars can only undergo limited inspection at the depot in Sai Wan Ho and thus tram operations and services have been seriously affected. The TD appealed to the protesters to take into account the fact that members of the public have seriously suffered from traffic congestion and unstable operation of public transport services in the past month, urging the protesters to peacefully retreat from the occupied roads to let services of trams and other public transport as well as the overall traffic situation return to normal.

     While the traffic on Hong Kong Island is still seriously affected by protests, the section of Connaught Road Central eastbound between Pedder Street and Edinburgh Place in Central was re-opened in the evening of October 28. Subsequently, the TD has made an additional U-turn arrangement so that motorists travelling along Connaught Road Central (Wan Chai-bound) heading for Sheung Wan/Western District can make a U-turn at Edinburgh Place to enter Connaught Road Central (Sheung Wan-bound) at grade or use the Pedder Street underpass heading for Sheung Wan to help relieve traffic congestion.

     Regarding public transport services, a total of 225 bus routes are still affected today with eight bus routes suspended and 217 bus routes diverted. Among the affected bus routes, 85 routes travelling via Mong Kok are diverted due to the closure of a number of road sections in Mong Kok. A total of 20 green minibus routes travelling via Harcourt Road, Nathan Road and Argyle Street are still diverted or suspended or with service adjusted. The MTR Corporation Limited continues to increase services for all urban lines to cope with passenger demand.

     The TD's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre will continue to monitor the road traffic situation and public transport services. For details of road closure, traffic diversion, suspension and route diversion of green minibus services, please refer to the TD's website (www.td.gov.hk). Regarding temporary traffic arrangements for bus routes, please refer to the following bus companies' websites for details:

     For routes of Citybus and New World First Bus: www.nwstbus.com.hk/en/uploadedFiles/OC2014/TAA.htmí@

     For routes of Kowloon Motor Bus: www.kmb.hk/ení@

     As there will be updates on bus services from time to time due to traffic changes, members of the public are advised to pay attention to the latest service arrangements announced by bus companies before starting their journeys.

Ends/Thursday, October 30, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:51

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