Hong Kong MTR passengers to be spared platform screen door costs
Corporation charged travellers 10 cents for previous installation work
MTR passengers will be spared from paying for the installation of new automatic platform screen doors - which cost HK$400 million - even though commuters were charged 10 cents on top of their fare for previous work.
The installation of 1,280 screen doors will cover the Ma On Shan line and part of the Sha Tin to Central link. However, the project will not cover East Rail stations.
Tai Wai station - a terminus of the Ma On Shan line - will see the first doors come into operation by the end of this month. A total of 720 screen doors will be installed at nine Ma On Shan line stations.
"The passengers will not be charged this time," said MTR operations manager Allen Ding Ka-chun. The MTR Corporation said it had decided not to charge passengers following a recommendation from the government - its main shareholder - and views from the public.
From July 2000 to December 2013, the corporation collected an extra 10 cents from passengers using Octopus cards to pay half of the cost of installing platform screen doors. The total collected was around HK$1.15 billion.
"The retrofitting work has been carried out for two or three hours overnight to avoid interrupting normal train services during the day," Ding said. "We were committed to bringing forward all installation work on the Ma On Shan line to 2017, one year earlier than originally planned."
Baptist University student Josefina Wu welcomed the new doors. "They are really necessary to ensure passenger safety and I always step back a little when there is no gate on the MTR."
The MTR Corp said that during the period of construction, additional station assistants, notices and broadcasts were being used to remind passengers about the work.