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Context: Inauguration of the transport section of the most expensive railway project in Hong Kong
The Hung Hom-Admiralty section of the long-awaited Sha Tin-Central link, Hong Kong’s most expensive rail project to date, was fully opened to the public yesterday.
This opening marks the end of a project plagued by repeated delays and cost overruns. The section is known as the cross-port extension of the East Rail line from Hung Hom Station to Admiralty Station, via the new exhibition center stop at Wan Chai.
The East Rail line is the fourth railway line directly connecting the northeastern New Territories, central Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Admiralty Station is also now a mega interchange station for the East Rail Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line and South Island Line.
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Travel times will also be shorter with the new expansion. Using a new signaling system, nine-car trains on the extended East Rail line will run at 2.7-minute intervals during peak hours.
Journeys between Tai Wai and Admiralty will take 17 minutes, 11 minutes longer than indirect routes. A trip between Sheung Shui and Admiralty will take 40 minutes, which is 15 minutes less than the previous route. A journey between Sha Tin and Causeway Bay will take 27 minutes compared to 36 minutes previously.
Smart installations called “Cross-Harbour Easy” are placed on the concourse and interchange platform of Admiralty station. They will show real-time train waiting images so passengers can choose time-saving routes.
The new exhibition center stop at Wan Chai connects Hung Hom station to Admiralty station. Photo: Nora Tam
To minimize overcrowding, a passenger information display system will show the loading capacity of each car, so commuters can choose those with more space. It will be on all platforms of the line and on the MTR mobile application.
Fares for existing journeys on the East Rail line remain unchanged. But traveling between Hung Hom and the exhibition center will cost HK$10.10, like other carrier railways.
Passengers can also enjoy redemption discounts of HK$2 per trip when using Octopus cards on designated franchise bus routes at Exhibition Center Station.
Identify TWO benefits the connection between Sha Tin and Central could have for people’s lives. To explain.
Using your own knowledge, explain what could be one disadvantage of using nine-car trains instead of 12. Then identify TWO measures mentioned in the context that address this concern.
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News: Issues Affecting Port Cross Section of MTR Corp Rail Link
The opening of the long-awaited remaining Hung Hom-Admiralty section of the Sha Tin-Central link closes the latest chapter in a saga plagued by shoddy work, repeated delays and cost overruns.
Earlier this month, Transport and Housing Secretary Frank Chan Fan said testing and trials on the port cross-section of the 17km link had been completed, ahead of the revised target date in June or July. .
He pledged to learn from past mistakes with the project, saying improvements were on the way.
“We have strengthened our control and oversight of the project and associated procedures,” he said.
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Jacob Kam Chak-pui, CEO of rail operator MTR Corporation, said commuters could travel from the northeast New Territories to the heart of Hong Kong Island without changing trains, which would “boost rail service centenary”. [the East Rail line]and “keep Hong Kong moving”.
The company and its contractors have been repeatedly investigated for their handling of the project, which was fraught with pitfalls and cover-ups. The government, as overseer of the project, was also criticized for not spotting shortcomings early and taking strong action to ensure things were on track.
The opening of the Port Crossing Extension has been repeatedly delayed due to various issues, including shoddy work, rectification work at Hung Hom Station, and vandalism of the East Link Line Rail by anti-government protesters during the 2019 social unrest.
The Tai Wai-Hung Hom section experienced delays at Hung Hom station, where a whistleblower revealed shoddy work. Photo: Sam Tsang
The link suffered cost overruns with a final price of HK$90.7 billion, HK$10 billion more than originally budgeted.
Originally scheduled to open in December 2020, the date was pushed back to the fourth quarter of last year, and the target was changed again to the first quarter of this year.
The MTR Corp announced last October that the project would be postponed for a third time until June or July this year due to setbacks caused by signaling problems. The railway giant has since managed to reduce the delay.
The Tai Wai-Hung Hom section of the Sha Tin to Central link – part of what is now the Tuen Ma line – opened last June after repeated delays at Hung Hom station, where a whistleblower revealed poor quality work.
What did Jacob Kam mean when he said the new link would “energize the century-old East Rail line” and “keep Hong Kong moving”?
Some have criticized the Sha Tin-Central link for being more expensive than the local 26 km section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link, which cost HK$84.4 billion. Using News and your own knowledge, explain how their criticisms are justified.
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What problem mentioned in Context does the cartoon refer to?
Using information from News, list THREE factors that led to this problem.
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Problem: Bus and minibus operators brace for passenger ‘exodus’ with East Rail line MTR extension
The extension of the East Rail line’s MTR will allow commuters to get from parts of the New Territories to the center faster, with savings on some routes, but bus operators fear they will lose business.
Highlighting the concerns of major bus and minibus operators, lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said KMB, Citybus and New World First Bus (NWFB) expected to lose an overall daily ridership of at least 100,000 during the opening of the new section.
“They will experience an exodus of passengers. For the routes from the Cross-Harbour Tunnel to Hung Hom Station alone, bus operators told me they would lose 30,000 passengers every day at peak times,” he said.
Bus operators say they expect to lose thousands of passengers from Cross-Harbour Tunnel routes at Hung Hom Station. Photo: May Tse
Tien, former chairman of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), said bus operators should explore new routes in new towns or settlements without nearby stations, and should ask the transport ministry to reduce some services. buses to control costs. .
Chau Kwok-keung, chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, said minibuses were beaten when the MTR’s Tuen Ma Line opened in June last year, with routes between Hung Hom and Mong Kok or Kowloon City hit hard.
The opening of the new railway line through the port would hit them again, he said. The city has about 4,228 minibuses.
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Chau urged the Ministry of Transport to take over 21 bus routes run by the MTR Corporation and hand them over to minibuses to operate.
Quentin Cheng Hin-kei, spokesman for the public transport research team of the commuter task force, expressed concern about the overall healthy development of public transport. If people flocked to the MTR, he said, the rail system would be overloaded.
To anticipate changes in travel patterns and commuter demand, the Department for Transport has announced that it is canceling the 301 bus route from May 15 and will also consider phasing out special departure bus services at the tunnel Cross Harbor.
In addition to taking over the bus routes run by the MTR, suggest ONE other way in which the Department of Transport can help bus and minibus operators cope with the drop in passenger numbers following the extension of the East Rail line.
Using Issue and your own knowledge, explain why buses and minibuses are crucial to healthy public transport infrastructure in Hong Kong.
How responsible is the Ministry of Transport for ensuring that these bus and minibus operators continue to make money?
Bus operators in Hong Kong :
Citybus and New World First Bus (NWFB) account for around 30% of Hong Kong’s franchise bus operations, with a fleet of 1,700 and over 210 routes. KMB, the city’s largest franchised bus operator, operates over 420 routes with an average daily ridership of 2.44 million.
Eastern Railway Line :
one of 10 MTR lines in Hong Kong. As the city’s first railway, it began operating in 1910 as KCR British Section until 1996, and KCR East Rail from 1996 to 2007. Construction of the 17 km rail link between Sha Tin and Central started in 2012 and full binding service. started on May 15. The railway line now begins at Admiralty Station on Hong Kong Island and branches north to Sheung Shui to end at Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau stations.
Hung Hom-Admiralty Section (from Sha Tin to central link) :
Opened on May 15, this 6 km stretch extends the existing eastern rail line through the port to Wan Chai North and Admiralty. It will extend the railway line to 46 km through 16 stations.
Live images of waiting trains :
includes information that allows commuters to check train arrival time, get an indication of how long they will have to wait to board a train and how crowded each car is
sloppy work :
refers to corner-cut cases in construction. In 2019, MTR Corp revealed that reinforcement bars for two platforms at Hung Hom station for the Sha Tin-Central link were found to be substandard. MTR Corp had to open at least 80 sections of the new platforms to ensure its structural safety was not compromised.