Lincoln Leung Kwok-kuen, the new chief executive of MTR Corp. Ltd. (00066.HK), is steering the city’s sole railway operator toward providing better service to passengers as it faces strong criticism for a series of construction delays.
He is the first employee to have been promoted to the top post, replacing Jay Walder, who quit a year before the end of his contract after being blamed for the delays.
Leung told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview that the company will seek to communicate more with its passengers and improve its services as much as it can, the newspaper reported Thursday.
The delays in the construction of the Hong Kong link to the national high-speed railway will reportedly result in an extra HK$20 billion of costs, bringing the total cost of the project to at least HK$85 billion, wiping out almost all of the HK$87 billion in economic benefits the new link was supposed to provide in its first 50 years of operation.
Leung said the company is reviewing its investment in the express link at different stages, and the latest estimates will be reported to the government this quarter.
He said MTRC has the same goal as the public and the government, which is to have the link up and running as soon as possible.
Other than delays in the construction of the express link, the firm is also facing challenges in keeping up with the building schedules of the Shatin-Central link and the South Island line.
Leung said MTRC understands the concerns of the public but has to be realistic in projecting the time it needs for construction, given the technical difficulties it has encountered.
Meanwhile, the firm is speeding up its pace of tendering to roll out more residential projects along its rail lines as demand rises, he said.
Translation by Vey Wong
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