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More HZMB private car quotas set

The governments of Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to increase the regular quotas for Hong Kong cross-boundary non-commercial private cars using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to Macau, the Transport Department announced today.   The decision was made to enhance traffic flow between Hong Kong and Macau, better utilising the bridge, the department said.   It will increase the Hong Kong quota by 1,000, following the earlier quota allocation of 1,800 for Hong Kong.   The additional quota will be distributed in two phases from the second quarter.   Half of the additional 1,000 quota allocations is for company applicants and the other half is for individual applicants. The quotas are valid for no more than three years. The eligibility criteria of quota applications remains the same.   Private cars allocated with Hong Kong quotas will be permitted to access the city of Macau multiple times using the bridge.   The Hong Kong quota allotments will be re-allocated upon expiry thro

MTR to resolve fare irregularities

Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan today said MTR fare anomalies arising from the existing railway network will be resolved in phases according to the annual fare adjustment mechanism.   In response to a lawmaker's questions at the Legislative Council today, Mr Chan explained that the full commissioning of the Tuen Ma Line connects a number of existing railway lines, including the original West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line, as well as the East Rail Line.   The fares of these lines were already determined with reference to their own fare structures before the rail merger. In particular, the fare structure of the East Rail Line, which started operations as early as in 1910, is influenced by historical factors and involves the co-existence of domestic and cross-boundary services, making it difficult to be directly compared with other railway lines.   Therefore, in the MTR heavy rail system, the fares of stations which run through the East Rail Line and the original West Rail Line and Ma On Shan Line will be influenced by fares of these lines.   The fares of new railway lines, like the Tuen Ma Line, will in turn be bounded by the fare structure of the existing railway network, resulting in fare anomalies for some trips.   Mr Chan said the MTR Corporation (MTRC) has been carefully handling the situation by adjusting the fare according to the annual fare adjustment mechanism. Given the railway network’s improved connectivity and increasing complexity, fare adjustments involving specific Tuen Ma Line routes or stations must be done prudently as it may affect other railway lines and cause further anomalies.   Subject to the annual fare adjustment rate based on the mechanism, it is expected that the MTRC would take several years to resolve the anomalies, he added.   Currently, the MTRC offers concessionary tickets and fare discounts to reduce the impact of fare anomalies. In collaboration with green minibuses and franchised buses, special interchange discounts and new interchange routes have also been introduced, Mr Chan noted.
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