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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Peak Tram on track for comeback

Peak Tram on track for comeback

The sixth generation of the Peak Tram is all set to launch on Saturday with a redesigned terminus and 75 percent more passenger capacity, as well as wider windows and skylights to show off the view of the harbor - but for an increased price.
The new tram cars will feature upgraded facilities including tech upgrades, display screens and improved accessibility for children and people with disabilities.

Peak Tramways Company general manager May Tsang Ying-mei said all operational systems of the peak tram have undergone a technical overhaul and the iconic burgundy tram of the last generation has been replaced with a green one as an ode to Hong Kong's earlier tram carriages.

The new trams will see capacity boosted from a previous 120 to 210 passengers - up 75 percent.

There will be 145 uphill-facing seats and 22 downhill facing ones, with 43 standing spots. There will also be dedicated parking spaces with safety belts for those with disabilities as well as young children.

Passengers can visit five attraction zones, including a model of an old tram and audiovisual displays.

Martyn Sawyer of Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, the group responsible for operations, said that while the revamped terminus features new facilities, its historical heritage and beloved aspects will remain.

The sixth-generation trams have also had tech upgrades. Display screens have been added to trams so passengers can keep track of the next stop and platform gates have been added to the tram platforms for safety.

Tsang pointed out that the refurbishment project, which lasted over a year, racked up costs of almost HK$800 million, up from the original estimate of HK$680 million proposed initially.

To make up for increased costs due to inflation, the pandemic and supply chain woes, prices have been adjusted accordingly, she added.

On average, ticket prices have doubled, with an adult round trip costing HK$88, up HK$36 from last year, while a concessionary round trip will cost HK$44. A return ticket for adults plus admission to the Sky Terrace on the Peak will cost HK$148.

But promotions of up to 50 percent off on tram rides will be available from Saturday to October 30 as part of the Thank You HK Pass, with which adults will be able to purchase a return ticket for HK$66.

On the fare hike, Tsang said the Peak Tramways Company needs to consider the increased operating costs and sustainability of the operation, adding the company's future will depend on the border reopening.

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