Hong Kong Tramways Ltd. is ready to operate an air-conditioned tram in a trial service that will begin as soon as this summer, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
The tram will be the first of its kind in the city, and the fare will remain the same as for the existing non-air-conditioned ones, the firm said.
Whether it will extend the service will depend on the feedback from passengers, it said.
To preserve the century-old tradition of the tram service, the firm has no plans at this stage to equip all its trams with air conditioning, managing director Emmanuel Vivant said.
He said an air conditioner has been installed in one of its trams and is now awaiting approvals from the Transport Department and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.
An operations manager at the company said its power supply system cannot handle more than one air-conditioned tram at the moment.
Expansion of the air-conditioned tram service would require an enhanced power supply system, but then the fare would rise, he said. No decision has yet been made.
Meanwhile, Vivant said the biggest challenge to the company’s business is traffic congestion, which could slow down the trams to a speed as low as 2-3 km/h.
Numerous passengers who frequently rode the trams have switched to other modes of transportation, he said.
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