The Mid-Levels escalator, the world's longest covered outdoor escalator system, is a modern marvel. Well, it is when it's working, which appears to be hardly ever.
I seem to encounter a broken-down section whenever I get on it. Once, the rubber handrail had been stripped off and was strewn on the ground. Another time large metal plates were being lifted out as workers peered into the floor cavity.
Such disruptions force people to trudge up the adjacent stairs. Which is not a big deal unless you're 80. On days like these, it becomes apparent how many elderly people rely on the escalator, as they clutch the railings and gasp for breath after each step. I saw an elderly person sitting on the crowded stairs after feeling faint during such a climb last summer.
Are the constant breakdowns the result of the walkway being poorly made or poorly maintained?
If it's a matter of manufacturing, questions need to be directed to the relevant authorities in this mega-city of engineering marvels. And if it's a matter of maintenance, any upkeep should be carried out in the dead of night.
If daytime closures are unavoidable, would-be riders should at least be warned: 'big disappointment ahead.'