Some gain, some lose in MTR ticket glitches

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2007, 12:00am

More than 300 passengers saved a total of HK$2,300 in fares on MTR trains this month as a result of a glitch in the company's fare calculation software.

But the same problem at Nam Cheong station meant that 162 passengers were overcharged between 60 cents and HK$5.80 each - a total of more than HK$400.

This is the second reported gremlin at the railway's gates since problems at Kowloon Tong station on the day of the merger of the MTR Corporation and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation on December 2.

A spokesman from the MTR Corp said last night that 493 passenger trips between December 2 and 18 were affected.

Up to HK$5.80 was wrongly deducted from the Octopus cards of 162 passengers while 331 passengers were undercharged between 20 cents and HK$14.

The Transport and Housing Bureau will request a report on the discrepancies.

The incorrect calculations were found to have occurred under two conditions: when the Octopus card was used on a journey to Nam Cheong and then on another journey from Nam Cheong station back to the originating station of the first journey along the same route; and when on the return journey from Nam Cheong station the passenger passed through two different types of gates, an ordinary and a transfer gate.

The spokesman said the case was brought to the MTR's attention last week by a passenger who found he was overcharged by HK$4.20.

Nam Cheong is the interchange station for the Tung Chung and West Rail lines. A set of transfer gates that allow passengers to interchange lines had been designed and installed in the station since the merger.

The MTR Corp apologised and offered to refund passengers who had been overcharged. They will also be given a single journey ticket.

The discrepancies were caused by errors in software that were rectified immediately after the discovery, the spokesman said.