Peak Tram, which ferries passengers from Central to the tourist attraction of Victoria Peak, has temporarily suspended its service to upgrade its capacity amid rising demand.
The Transport Department (TD) said the service suspension will last about two to three months from Tuesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
All metered parking spaces, motorcycle parking spaces and a parking space for vehicles with disabled passengers on Peak Road near Plunkett’s Road have been suspended since Friday until further notice, while special transport arrangements are implemented during the suspension period.
Those going up to the Peak, as well as those returning to Hong Kong Island, can take the existing no. 15 and no. 15B buses operated by New World First Bus Services Limited (NWFB), but not no. 15C, whose service is suspended as well.
Passengers can also take NWFB’s special route no. X15 bus, which travels directly between Admiralty (West) Bus Terminus and The Peak Public Transport Terminus without any en-route bus stop. Fare is HK$12.4.
Members of the public can browse the TD website at www.td.gov.hk or make use of the department’s HKeMobility mobile application to obtain information about the special arrangements.
Authorities expect significant traffic congestion in the vicinity of Peak Road, Magazine Gap Road and Stubbs Road during the suspension of the Peak Tram service, especially on weekends and public holidays.
As such, police will implement temporary traffic management and crowd control measures based on the actual situation, the TD said.
It is also projected that the number of passengers waiting at the Peak Public Transport Terminus will be higher than usual.
People going to the affected areas are advised to plan their journey in advance to allow more travel time for unexpected delays as well as use public transport whenever possible.
According to the website of Peak Tramways Co. Ltd., the upgrade of the entire tram system is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The project cost, HK$684 million, will be shouldered by the company.
One major upgrade involves raising the capacity of a tramcar by 75 percent to 210 passengers from 120 at present.
As new and significantly longer tramcars are needed for the purpose, the company will replace all the haulage and control systems, lay new track rails and strengthen the track foundations and bridges, and extend the passing loop and the Lower Terminus, the website said.
The lower and upper terminuses will also be upgraded for additional queuing capacity.
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