LCQ21: MTR station facilities

     Following is a question by the Hon Yang Wing-kit and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (November 30):


     There are views pointing out that the facilities of some MTR stations are not user-friendly to members of the public. For instances, some elderly persons do not know how to use the video call function of the Smart Customer Service Centres to call the staff for enquiries or assistance, and some entrances/exits are only installed with stairs or upward escalators, resulting in difficulties for the people in need such as the elderly, people with and without disabilities, pregnant women and people with baby strollers in going upstairs or downstairs. Moreover, a survey has pointed out that some members of the public working or attending schools in Kowloon City district have never used To Kwa Wan Station, and one of the major reasons for this is that locations of the entrances/exits of the station are quite distant from destinations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) given that only Smart Customer Service Centres are set up in some new MTR stations (e.g. Sung Wong Toi Station, To Kwa Wan Station, Hin Keng Station and Kai Tak Station), while Customer Service Centres manned by staff are set up in some new stations (e.g.‍ Exhibition Centre Station), whether it knows the criteria adopted by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) for setting up Smart Customer Service Centres at MTR stations, and whether MTRCL will restore those Smart Customer Service Centres to Customer Service Centres manned by staff; if MTRCL will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) whether it knows, among the MTR stations, (i) the number of entrances/exits which are only accessible by stairs (and its percentage in the total number of MTR station entrances/exits) and (ii) the number of entrances/exits which are only accessible by upward escalators (and its percentage in the total number of MTR station entrances/exits), with a breakdown by MTR station and identification number of station entrance/exit; whether MTRCL has plans to retrofit downward escalators at station entrances/exits with upward escalators only, so as to facilitate the people in need to use MTR services; if so, of the details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) whether it knows if the MTR station entrances/exits completed in the past three years are all equipped with upward and downward escalators leading directly to ground level; and

(4) whether it knows if MTRCL will consider adding entrances/exits at To Kwa Wan Station (e.g. adding entrances/exits in the vicinity of Kwei Chow Street); if MTRCL will, of the details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that?


     ​In consultation with the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), my reply to the question raised by the Hon Yang Wing-kit is as follows:

(1) The MTRCL has been proactive in implementing smart initiatives through the use of technology to provide a wide range of services to passengers in recent years. These include setting up smart customer service centres in some of the new stations, supplemented by station roving service teams that patrol the stations, especially at the concourse, near the entry/exit gates and other locations where passengers often seek assistance, so as to proactively assist passengers with ticketing issues and enquiries.

     ​Since the implementation of the new service model, the MTRCL has been listening to the views of passengers and the local community in order to continuously improve the services. For example, for stations with more elderly users that need assistance, the MTRCL has increased the manpower of the roving service teams according to the needs, and deploy more station staff at various strategic locations in the stations to proactively assist the elderly and passengers in need. The MTRCL will arrange appropriate customer service modes according to the uniqueness of each station, such as the surrounding community and the passenger types (e.g. tourists, commuters). The MTRCL will continue to monitor the operation of stations implementing the new service model, and communicate with various passengers and stakeholders on their views and needs, so as to enhance the service arrangements.

(2) and (3) The arrangement of entrance/exit facilities (including stairs, escalators and/or lifts) of MTR stations is subject to a range of objective factors, including the geographical environment of the station, building structure, passenger flow and operation of station, width of at-grade footpaths, technical feasibility, fire and safety standards, etc. Therefore, even for MTR stations newly commissioned in recent years, it is not feasible to have two escalators at all of the entrances/exits to connect the station concourse and the ground level.

     To facilitate the access to stations for passengers with impaired mobility and those in need, all MTR stations are currently equipped with at least one barrier-free access, including lifts, ramps, wheelchair lifts or wheelchair aids connecting the concourse and the ground level.

     ​According to the information provided by the MTRCL, there are currently nearly 600 entrances/exits at the 99 heavy rail stations, of which about 12 per cent (i.e. about 70) only have stairs to connect the station concourse, and about 18 per cent (i.e. about 100) with only one escalator connecting to the station concourse. The running direction of these escalators will be arranged based on factors such as passenger flow, operational need, passengers' behaviours and safety. Some escalators will also change the running direction at specific periods to facilitate passenger flow. The entrances/exits of MTR stations with only stairs or one escalator connecting to the station concourse are set out at Annex.

(4) When designing station entrances/exits and pedestrian links, a number of objective factors will be considered, including traffic conditions, pedestrian network and facilities, pedestrian usage, geographical and technical feasibility, as well as overall benefits, etc. There are currently four entrances/exits at To Kwa Wan Station, located at Lok Shan Road Sitting-out Area next to S.K.H. Good Shepherd Primary School, Lok Shan Road near Maidstone Road, Kiang Su Street and Ma Tau Wai Road/To Kwa Wan Road Garden respectively. The MTRCL currently has no plans to add more entrances/exits at To Kwa Wan Station. Members of the public may conveniently access the station by using the at-grade footpaths and pedestrian crossings between To Kwa Wan Station and Kwei Chow Street.

Ends/Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:35