It was Sunday morning and I was,
as usual, going to Tsim Sha Tsui for my weekly indulgence of facial treatment
and body massage. I like taking the train instead of the MTR as there are fewer
stops. At around 8:10, I got off the mini-bus at Kowloon Tong station and
walked to the platform for the East Rail train heading for Hung Hom to change
to the West Rail for Tsim Sha Tsui. I was very pleased to see a train there
with doors open. I thought I was lucky as I did not have to wait. But my
happiness came too soon.
The doors remained open and
passengers began to get off. Then there was the announcement that the train
would be shortly delayed. I was not in a hurry and stayed. Time passed and
still the same announcement was repeated. I thought I had to decide. So I
followed other passengers and got off to take the MTR.
By the time I arrived at Tsim Sha
Tsui Station, there was the broadcast of the suspension of East Rail services due
to a signal failure resulting in the MTR's operations control center
"being blinded" about the whereabouts of its trains. I felt lucky
that I had made the right decision of alighting instead of trusting the
announcement of “shortly delayed”.
Every time, these announcements
end with “apologies for the inconvenience caused”. But for passengers
especially those who are going to work in the morning, every minute counts.
Train delay means their being late for work resulting in loss of bonus or
penalty. What good is the apology to them?
I am all for the increase of
fines for train service breakdown and for the highly-paid senior management be
penalized with their bonuses deducted. Pay cheques have to come with