Date
22 November 2017
MTR passenger traffic is up 13 percent during the past 12 days. The surge shows the railway operator has yet to fully utilize capacity during normal days. Photo: Bloomberg
MTR passenger traffic is up 13 percent during the past 12 days. The surge shows the railway operator has yet to fully utilize capacity during normal days. Photo: Bloomberg

How MTR is riding on street protests

MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK), Hong Kong’s mass railway operator, is benefiting from the protest movement in increased passenger traffic, T Y Ko writes in a Hong Kong Economic Journal column.

Passenger traffic is up 13 percent over the past 12 days, Ko said, citing Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung.

The surge shows MTR has yet to fully utilize its capacity during normal days, highlighting public demands for more frequent services at peak hours.

Cheung said there is scope for extra services on key routes including Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wan Line and Island Line.

MTR’s reliable service has helped Hong Kong’s economy remain on track during the past three weeks of street occupation by democracy protesters.

Another unintended result of the protest is the diversion of travelers and local residents to other places outside Central and other congested areas.

The situation showed that favorable government policy toward the railway company, compared with other transport operators, allowed it to provide “acceptable” services without risking passenger traffic. 

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