talk back

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 April, 2005, 12:00am

Q How can West Rail attract more passengers?

On Monday I visited Yuen Long and on my return journey to Ap Lei Chau I decided to take the KCR West Rail service. I had heard that not many people use it so I thought I would see for myself.

I travelled from Long Ping Station as far as Nam Cheong and then changed to the feeder service 701 to Mongkok. From there I used route 171 to Ap Lei Chau.

I cannot understand why anyone would want to use the West Rail service, even if travelling only to Kowloon. The rail journey was efficient, and got me to Nam Cheong in about 20 minutes. The problem was getting from West Rail to Mongkok.

From leaving the train carriage it took eight minutes to reach the bus station, (down an escalator, through a concourse and up another escalator), only to see the bus leave as I approached. There was then a 15-minute wait until the next bus departed.

Arrival in Mongkok was 65 minutes after leaving Yuen Long (including walking to Long Ping Station), 35 minutes of this was travelling from Nam Cheong to Mongkok and all this for $14.40!

Next time I will stick with bus 68X from Yuen Long to Mongkok; it is cheaper at only $12.50 and does not require any changes en route. It is now no wonder to me that the West Rail line is underused; it doesn't run to where people want to go.

Derek Small, South Horizons

On other matters...

In the article headlined 'EOC gets chance to restore credibility' (April 20) it was written that none but one of the 15 EOC commissioners will be reappointed when their terms expire in May. This is to enable the EOC to re-establish its credibility.

While it is hoped that this will be a consequence of the revamp, I fear nothing will change regarding the unequal opportunities that the late-middle-aged and aged face in the world of work, particularly in relation to the low retirement age of 60 exercised by the government and other bodies, such as the English Schools Foundation.

This is because the commission is a statutory body set up to implement the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and Family Status Discrimination Ordinance. It is not within the commission's remit to implement the age discrimination ordinance, simply because there isn't one.

Surely it is time to introduce such an ordinance and make the revamped EOC the body to implement it. People who are healthy and dedicated to their jobs are being forced to leave those jobs because of a government that has very little concern for the 60-plus age-group.

Chris Stubbs, Mid-Levels

Several correspondents on Talkback have turned the bus television noise issue into a democratic or majority issue.

But bus television noise is not a majority issue; it is one involving a simple principle: A fare-paying passenger should have the right to sit anywhere in the bus and enjoy a journey free from the unnecessary noise generated by a television system.

Even if one passenger wants to exercise this right, she/he must be allowed to do so. This principle must be upheld and the argument that money from the television system helps to keep fares down cannot take precedence.

I personally don't like the noise and feel this type of entertainment gives Hong Kong a third-world-city image. The space in a bus is a public place; passengers can listen to television at home if they wish to do so.

I could understand something like this in a developing country, where passengers don't have television at home. But for industrialised Hong Kong, it can only serve to make visitors wonder whether it is in fact the world city it claims to be.

Tong Kar-ming, Ap Lei Chau

My wife and I recently moved to Clearwater Bay from Mid-Levels in the hope of giving our young son a far greener environment in which to grow up.

As a result, I have had to find a new running route. I used to run daily along Bowen Road and it was always free of litter. I have now started running from the top of Tai Au Mun Road down to Po Toi O and back. When I first ran this route on Saturday I saw about 15 people flying kites or simply spectating and taking in the view.

I ran this route on Sunday afternoon and the number of kite flyers and spectators was probably nearer to 50.

Imagine my horror when I went running on Monday morning and ran past the same area where so many people had gathered the day before. It was littered with empty bottles, cigarette cartons and food wrappers. Standing at this site I was able to see three litter bins within 10 metres of where I was standing, yet none of this litter had found its way into them.

I find it totally irresponsible that people can simply discard their litter in this way. To get to this spot, you either have to do so on foot or by private or public transport. The people responsible for this litter have no excuses.

The walkers all had rucksacks; why couldn't they carry their litter with them and dispose of it properly? Those that got there by car or public transport could just as easily have taken their rubbish home with them.

Simon Wiggs, Clearwater Bay