Ferries save day for commuters

Top News | Jane Cheung 15 Nov 2019

Rush-hour commuters took ferries after the city's busiest tunnel closed and the MTR network was again disrupted on the fourth day of transport action by protesters.

Workers opted for the ferries to cross Victoria Harbour as the Cross Harbour Tunnel connecting Hung Hom and Causeway Bay was blocked by protesters.

At the Kowloon City ferry pier in To Kwa Wan, hundreds of citizens were spotted waiting for the ferry to North Point during the morning rush hour as queues stretched from the pier to the intersection of San Ma Tau Street and To Kwa Wan Road.

A staff member at the pier said patronage yesterday was "obviously higher" than usual days.

"The ferry company will handle ferry arrangements in a flexible manner with regards to the sea traffic and patronage," he said, adding that some ferry workers could not get to work because of transportation difficulties.

The queue eventually cleared at around 9.30am.

Despite most MTR stations being operational yesterday morning, commuters complained about trains moving slowly as journeys took approximately three times longer than usual.

The MTR Corp said multiple stations had passengers obstructing doors or even fighting with each another, causing delays.

A passenger, Ma, who was traveling from Tsuen Wan to Admiralty, said she spent almost two hours on what was usually a 30-minute ride.

"I spared an extra hour as I anticipated busy traffic, but I didn't expect it'd take two hours for me to get here," she said. "Luckily my boss is aware of the situation and said there won't be any penalty."

The East Rail Line resumed services between Hung Hom and Tai Wai, as remaining sections across the New Territories East to Sheung Shui and Shenzhen-Hong Kong border points in Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau were still under repair after being vandalized over the past few days.

The MTRC said protesters threw molotov cocktails onto the rails near Hung Hom station on at least two occasions, prompting services to be temporarily halted.

As a result of suspended train services to Shenzhen, traffic was also congested near Huanggang Port.

In the New Territories, the Tolo Highway connecting Sha Tin and Tai Po was blocked for the second day after confrontations between police and protesters at Chinese University on Tuesday.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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