Act now to solve coin crisis

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 March, 1998, 12:00am

Winnie Ng of KMB (letter, South China Morning Post, March 20) offers some apparently comforting words on the coin crisis, but she implies that the Octopus card will solve the problem.

It might do so in two to three years' time but we needed a solution nine months ago.

About four million Octopus cards may be in circulation, but almost all of these replace the old MTR/KCRC stored-value cards which were bought with bank notes or bank cards, just as the Octopus cards are. So no coin transactions have been saved yet, apart from on a very few KMB buses and a few ferries. This is making an insignificant dent in the coin crisis. All the buses my family use are minibuses or Citybuses. The Octopus card is not used on these and will not be for a long time, if ever.

This crisis will only be solved by the Monetary Authority taking immediate action to buy even more coins than it has currently ordered. We were short of coins even before 1997, so its current proposal to bring the coin supply back to pre-handover levels is inadequate.

Let us see some more action taken to solve this problem sooner.

E. F. CHASE Pokfulam