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Hong Kong MTR

It’s unacceptable of MTR to blame computer failure for massive train delays

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 4:02pm

I refer to the report “Rogue computers acted alone to cause Hong Kong rail failure and MTR Corp’s top engineer doesn’t know why” (October 17).

On Tuesday, the signalling failure on the MTR caused large-scale chaos during rush hour, due to severe delays on four main lines. The error is believed to have been caused by the overload of the system. There have been many angry calls for an explanation from the MTR.

This error is unacceptable because the MTR is a main mode of transport for Hongkongers. Even a small problem with the railway system has a big impact on people’s lives. Luckily there was no significant event scheduled that day. Had it been the day of a Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam, for example, the problem would have been more severe. It’s not enough for the MTR to simply apologise and provide a fare discount on the day to make amends.

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The MTR should upgrade its computer system to ensure that there is no system failure in the future and to restore citizens’ trust.

On the other hand, people’s reactions could also have been better. The MTR issued information on the problems before 6am. People should manage their time better, for example, by going to work earlier and reserving more time for taking other modes of transport. Besides, people should not only rely on the MTR, but could switch to buses and the tram.

This situation will not repeat itself if Hongkongers and the MTR can cooperate better.

Mickey Yu, Tsuen Wan