New MTR stations will need some improvements

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 11:18pm

Last month, two new MTR stations opened, more than a year late.

With the opening of the Whampoa and Ho Man Tin stations, the Kwun Tong Line extension project finally came to an end, after facing a series of obstacles, such as engineering difficulties, complications with underground utilities, and keeping to construction time limits.

Although there were delays, the stations are finally open, even though they are far from perfect.

I appreciate that the new stations will bring some benefits to people, but I think there are also disadvantages.

On the upside, the MTR will offer residents in those areas another transport option and a faster link to other parts of the city. They will no longer have to wait at bus stops when it is raining heavily or put up with roadside pollution.

There is likely to be an increase in visitor numbers of these areas and, with new estates, an increase in population, as people like to move to somewhere where there is already an MTR station, as it makes their commute to work and school easier.

This will therefore be good for shops in these areas as they will likely see an increase in their business.

Also, residents living in these areas will probably travel to more places on their days off, because the MTR is a much faster form of transport.

However, I do have problems with the design of Ho Man Tin. The complex has seven levels and so is quite deep. Passengers having to go to different levels, if they do not take the lift, will have a lot of stairs to climb. Elderly people will prefer to take lifts, but when the platform is busy, they will face a long wait and could take some time to exit the station.

Also, Whampoa station has two concourses that are not connected. This could be confusing for passengers who are not familiar with the station’s layout.

At Ho Man Tin, an escalator must be constructed to take the pressure off the lifts.

At Whampoa, there is nothing much the MTR Corporation can do now that the station is finished and cannot be rebuilt. However, staff should be stationed at all entrances/exits and give people directions if they are lost.

Labels can also be placed on walls giving directions, as happens in Causeway Bay station, so people leave by the correct exit.

With the changes that I have suggested, I think the stations can be more effective and benefit all passengers.

Chan King-yi, Yau Yat Chuen