Hong Kong cable car operator confirms rides will resume in two weeks after five months of maintenance work
All but two stores in Ngong Ping village, where the rides from the town of Tung Chung end, will also remain in business, it says
Tourists in Hong Kong can now look forward to taking a ride on the popular Ngong Ping 360 cable cars, which will resume services in about two weeks after five months of maintenance work.
The cable car operator also confirmed on Monday that all but two shops in Ngong Ping village would remain in business, and that it put in place relief measures to help them get through the difficult period.
The 5.7km cable car ride from the town of Tung Chung to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island has been closed since January 9 to replace its wire ropes as they reached the end of their 10-year lifespan.
Managing director Stella Kwan Mun-yee said the works are “largely” complete, but stopped short of revealing an exact reopening date.
“One of the biggest factors is the [unpredictable] weather. You might see sunshine in Tung Chung, but at the same time there could be downpours in Ngong Ping,” she said.
The maintenance work, expected to cost HK$80 million, was now under a final examination, including load and reliability tests.
“Last year we reached 99.8 per cent reliability, which meant for every eight hours of operation, there was less than one minute of delay. We want to make sure services remain at this level after reopening,” Kwan added.
Asked whether tenants at Ngong Ping village were hard hit during the five-month closure, Kwan said the company had provided “operational relief” in the form of money and discounts, but would not reveal details.
Two tenants – believed to be souvenir shops – also exited the village after the expiry of their contracts, but other shops remained fully leased, she added.
Discounts will be offered to passengers in the months after the cable cars resume operation, while a revamped online ticketing system means visitors can reserve a time slot, helping them avoid long queues.
People can also download an app to their smartphones, activating a new audio guide which will highlight the vantage points on the ride.
Returning and new visitors alike can also appreciate 20 new cabin designs by 10 local designers and artists, to be fitted on 40 cars.