DAB suggests widening scope of penalties for MTR breakdownsLocal | 12 Jan 2018 7:02 pm
The DAB party is calling on the government to significantly increase fines on the MTR Corporation for service disruptions, saying existing penalties are inadequate to prompt the railway to take effective steps to cut down on problems.
The call comes after a two-hour closure of the East Rail Line on Thursday morning, which affected tens of thousands of commuters. MTR officials blamed the disruption on a signalling glitch.
DAB legislator Ben Chan said the government needs a bigger stick to force the railway company to shape up.
"Today's mechanism only imposes penalties for a suspension of services. But for limited services, there is no penalty," Chan said.
His party is suggesting that the government do away with the current system – which determines fines according to the maximum delay for any one train journey.
It says instead, the MTR Corporation should be fined to better reflect the overall duration of service disruptions, paying half of the current penalty for complete stoppages in cases of prolonged delays.
Chan cited as an example a 10-hour service disruption that hit the Kwun Tong Line last August. Under the current system, the railway was fined HK$2 million. But under the DAB's proposal, the penalty would have been more than HK$11 million.-RTHK