It's safety first, says MTR on oversized luggage

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 5:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 5:13pm

I refer to Alex Lo's column ("MTR hits major wrong note in cello case", September 25). I would like to set the record straight that MTR staff do not single out any one group of passengers, and certainly not children or students, for the enforcement of restrictions on the size of items allowed on the MTR.

The MTR Conditions of Carriage of Luggage are designed to ensure a safe and comfortable travelling environment for all passengers. They apply to everyone using the railway and have been in place for many years.

Under the rule, each passenger may carry one piece of luggage with the total dimension (length, width and height) not exceeding 170cm and the length of any one side not exceeding 130cm.

The aim is to balance the reasonable needs of passengers with the impact on other passengers and, most importantly, safety considerations.

Indeed, it is critical that we ensure passageways are not blocked by oversized items, which may slow down passenger movement, cause tripping or obstruct evacuation during urgent situations.

MTR staff do their best to enforce the size restriction in our busy network, which supports some 5.4 million passenger trips a day.

This was done in response to views expressed in the community about the obstruction and nuisance caused by passengers bringing in overly large items. Indeed, for the size restriction to be effective, the MTR must also rely on the support and cooperation of passengers.

We note the concerns raised in recent weeks over cases of passengers carrying large-sized musical instruments who were not able to use the MTR because their instruments exceeded limitations. The corporation has undertaken to review the size of objects allowed into the railway to determine whether there is room for adjustment.

The review must be done carefully and holistically, taking into consideration the pertinent issues involved, as well as the different views that have been expressed.

Our priority is to ensure that safety is never compromised, and at the same time explore the feasibility of giving more facilitation to passengers. The review is expected to take at least four weeks and we will share the findings with the public as soon as possible.

Osbert Kwan, senior manager, corporate relations, MTR Corporation