Motorists will be offered a parking discount of up to 50 per cent in a new park-and-ride scheme proposed by the MTRC. The offer, which forms part of an $800 million property development project at Choi Hung MTR station, follows similar park-and-ride initiatives introduced at Airport Express stations and the Sheung Shui KCR station in recent years. The project covers the existing Ping Shek bus terminus in Clear Water Bay Road and adjacent empty lot, and will provide 17,131 square metres of residential floor area and 2,400 square metres of commercial floor area. Mass Transit Railway Corporation property director Thomas Ho Hang-kwong said yesterday a multi-storey car park offering 450 public parking spaces would also be built, with priority given to motorists continuing their journey by MTR. 'In principle, whoever parks their cars with us to take the MTR will receive discounts and we will try our utmost to maximise the discount to up to 50 per cent of the market value,' he said. 'For example, if the parking spaces outside are charged at $10 per hour, our car park will offer a discount of about $5 per hour.' Mr Ho said details of the scheme would be finalised as the project neared completion, expected to be in 2005. Corporation chairman Jack So Chak-kwong hopes the scheme will provide an improved environment for commuters transferring between the MTR and other modes of transport. 'As Choi Hung has grown to become a busy transportation hub for Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Sai Kung districts, the Choi Hung Park and Ride Development will help to ease traffic congestion,' he said. Chun Wo Holdings Ltd has been awarded the contract to build the project. Meanwhile, the corporation has reported an increase in daily patronage, with an average of 2.31 million passengers a day taking the MTR on weekdays last month, up 1.5 per cent from the same period last year. Head of operations Martin Brown said yesterday: 'Although the economy has not completely rebounded from the economic downturn that has been affecting the territory over the past few years, this is an encouraging sign.'