Rail firm apologises for ticket row

Winnie Yeung

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation apologised yesterday after some people got the wrong idea about its trial rides to and from the new Tsim Sha Tsui East station on Sunday.

The apology by acting chief executive officer Samuel Lai Man-hay came after some elderly travellers complained about having to pay $3.20 to ride between the new station and Hunghom, a trip they had thought would be free.

In fact, the railway was allowing passengers to ride between Tsim Sha Tsui East and other destinations for the same fare they would have been charged to or from Hunghom, but they had to pay if they rode just between the present terminus and the new station.

This was spelled out in advertisements publicising the open day but the words 'trial ride' were in bigger type than the explanation of the minimum fare.

Speaking on RTHK radio yesterday, Mr Lai said the minimum charge was aimed at controlling the number of people going into the new station during the open day a week ahead of the official opening.

The rail corporation said it would donate Sunday's proceeds to charities as a gesture of goodwill. The amount and to whom it would be donated were not disclosed last night.

The company will also reconsider the use of the term 'trial rides' to avoid future misunderstanding.

However, one caller phoned in during the radio programme expressing support for KCRC. He said the problem was with the people who mistook that the ride was free.