MTR will cut off-peak train services from tomorrow (22 July) to match reduced demand arising from new government social distancing measures, the company says, with maximum headway on most lines increased from six and a half minutes to eight minutes. Tung Chung line headway is increased from seven minutes to 10 minutes, while Airport Express may now run at 30 minute intervals.
“Given the changes in the patronage during non-peak periods, we believe the service-frequency adjustment will reduce unnecessary energy consumption while maintaining travelling comfort,” the company says.
“Non-peak services and services on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays on the Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island, South Island, Tseung Kwan O, East Rail and West Rail lines will be maintained at an average interval of around 3.5 to 8 minutes,” it says.
The company recently announced that a part-time station assistant at Tai Wo Station was confirmed positive for Covid-19 and was being treated in hospital. The worker had taken a voluntary deep-throat saliva test on 9 July after there was a confirmed case near her apartment – her temperature measured at work was normal but, while on the way home on an East Rail Line train she was notified that her test result was confirmed positive. The worker immediately alighted at the next stop, University Station, and was helped to arrange ambulance transfer to hospital by station staff wearing personal protective equipment.
The company undertook deep cleaning of Tai Wo Station and University Station and deployed the MTR cleaning robot to clean the train the worker took home from work that day.
Also on public transport, New World First Bus said a driver on the 23 route tested positive – he had driven four buses on the route on 13 and 14 July, before feeling unwell and taking a Covid-19 test. Tests were administered to 19 drivers who had contact with the driver at rest stops and the canteen, with results not yet known.