I refer to the letter headlined, 'Confusing', which appeared in the Sunday Morning Post, on August 8.
The yellow queueing boxes on KCR East Rail's platform are located directly in front of the train doors.
There is one set of boxes for each door. Passengers on board should alight from both sides and boarding passengers should enter through the middle part.
We understand that the MTR changed its traditional queueing boxes to the current parallel boxes some years ago. We have also reviewed and explored this option. However, since the width of our platform waiting area and the distance between our train doors are both shorter than that of the MTR, implementing similar arrangements turned out to be extremely difficult.
For all our refurbished trains, there are five doors on each side of the compartment. Each set of the queueing boxes on the platform are very close to each other (the distance is about 2.2 metres). As our doors are closer to each other than that of the MTR, it is technically not feasible to have two sets of boxes for each door. If we adopt the parallel queueing boxes on both sides which are each 1.6m in width, the outer margin will overlap with the boxes for the adjoining doors. In this way, passengers lining up for different queues will end up in the 'same' box, creating confusion and this may indirectly cause accidents in boarding and alighting.
We have also studied various types of queueing arrangements on the platform.
As our platforms are generally narrower, some of our queueing boxes have to be designed in a special way allowing passengers at the end of the queue to line up at an angle.
If parallel queueing boxes are used, passengers at the end of the line will converge with those at the next door, creating a bottleneck and again this would concern us from the point of view of safety.
Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor the boarding and alighting situation on our platforms to ensure passenger safety. Platform assistants will be deployed to maintain queueing order on the platforms especially during peak hours. We will also continue our publicity efforts, promoting courtesy and safety through our annual campaigns.
WENDY KWAN Public Affairs Manager (Acting) East Rail Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation