On the Roads

FREE TRAM RIDES FOR A WEEK TO CELEBRATE OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS

Journalists watch Hong Kong’s mixed-doubles badminton match during Aubin’s speech

Hong Kong Tramways will offer the city free tram rides for a week to celebrate the success of Team Hong Kong at the Olympics, managing director Cyril Aubin revealed in a speech today.

Talking at a celebration to mark Guinness World Records bestowing a world record to the tram operator, Aubin said the company had seen bus operator KMB and rail firm MTR offer free rides to medallists. “But we thought $2.6 might be a bit offensive to the medallists,” said Aubin, referring to the tram’s low fare. Aubin said the tram operator wanted to celebrate the Olympic success with the whole city, and announced a free week’s travel to cheers from guests and journalists alike.

Nixon Cheung, Head of Commercial & Brand for HK Tramways, said the operator would need government approval for the free week, which he said would “hopefully” come in the last quarter of 2021. Cheung said he saw Secretary Frank Chan “responding positively” to the announcement. “I couldn’t really tell, I was in the second row, he was in the first row, but he seemed to be nodding and had a little discussion with Rosanna [Law, Commissioner for Transport],” he told Transit Jam.

Guinness World Records says Hong Kong now has the largest double-decker tram fleet in service. The company has 165 double-decker trams serving over 200,000 passengers every day.

Transport officials including Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan attended the world record ceremony in Tai Koo today.

Lawmaker Frankie Yick, who headed the tram operations until its privatisation, said people complained the tram was too slow, but he disagreed with such sentiments. The tram travelled along one of the busiest traffic corridors, Island north, he said, where the average traffic speed was only around 10 kph. “The tram can easily make 40 kph,” he said. “In fact, I remember passengers used to complain the tram travelled too fast out of Happy Valley at night.”

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