Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Riding a Revamped Tin Can

The new look of Hong Kong trams
Everyday after work I head to the gym for a few hours and then catch the tram back home.

Just the other day I stepped into a different tram -- one that has been revamped and will be the future look of Hong Kong's trams.

The outside pretty much looks the same, save for the LED panels on the front and side displaying the destination, but the inside is a different story.

Gone are the long bench seats where people try to squish their bums on and instead there are individual plastic molded seats. As a result less people can sit, but more people will have to stand.

However, thankfully the old turnstiles at the back are replaced now. Your clothes or bags won't get caught in these rickety things anymore as there are small swinging doors instead with infrared sensors to allow passengers in.

Most of the wood on the tram will be replaced by aluminum which is more durable and easier to repair.

French company Veolia Transport owns Hong Kong Tramways and is footing the HK$75 million ($9.66 million) bill to renovate the 161 trams, granted if the government allows for a HK$0.50 fare increase.

If the changes do go ahead, as a regular tram user, I'll miss the old-style trams with the old wood and bench seating, but it's understandable trying to upgrade the trams as they get older.

What would be even better would be if they could oil the wheels more so that we don't get those awful screeching noises when they turn the bend especially around where I live...

1 comment:

  1. it will be impossible to change the wheels of the tram that cause the screeches.

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