URBAN Properties Management, which manages 58,000 residential units in Hong Kong, has been awarded a three-year contract to operate and maintain the Central to Mid-Levels escalator starting in October. According to Geoffrey Greene, the company's director and deputy general manager, Urban Properties will also sell advertising space along the 800-metre-long escalator. ''Part of the tender arrangement allows us to put up signboards,'' said Mr Greene. ''So we will be formulating a plan with the Government to find out what kind of advertising we might be able to put up.'' He said he didn't think the company would have any trouble selling advertising space. Under the terms of the contract, Urban Properties will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and cleaning of the escalator and surrounding area. It will also run the security service, which includes the CCTV system. The company said it intends to install security personnel at strategic points along the escalator route. The escalator runs 14 hours a day from 6 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. The moving walkway is actually made up of 12 sections and runs down from Mid-Levels to Central for the first four hours and then up to Mid-Levels until closing time. Mr Greene said the company had no plans at the moment to change the hours of service.