The MTR Corporation said on Friday it's prepared to increase passenger capacity in anticipation of the resumption of quarantine-free travel with the mainland.
The railway company’s head of cross-boundary operations, Cheung Chi-keung, told an RTHK programme that tickets for the express rail link will become available three day before the reopening of the border.
Chief Executive John Lee has said he hoped the border could be reopened in mid-January.
Cheung said trains will begin to conduct test runs between the SAR and the mainland from January 3, so staff can familiarise themselves with the system, noting cross-border trips had been suspended since the beginning of 2020 due to Covid-19.
And the frequency of trains on other MTR lines will be increased to cater to higher passenger numbers, he said.
Cheung also said more staff will be deployed to assist passengers.
“When the border first reopens, we will increase manpower to make sure operation is smooth. We will provide appropriate assistance to passengers. Afterall, services have been suspended for a while, they may need some help when they cross the border,” he said.
Speaking on the same programme, lawmaker Bill Tang said if the government is to put in place a quota for cross-border quarantine-free travel, he hopes priority will be given to students as well as people who have family, medical and work-related needs.
He said people who need to handle legal or banking matters should be allowed to use the quota too, but those simply planning a holiday should not.
Tang added that if travellers are required by mainland authorities to present a test result upon entry, he hopes the government can offer them one free PCR test for their first trip after the border reopens.