Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University Social Research in Transport (SORT) Clearinghouse Social Research in Transport (SORT) Clearinghouse 6-1-2010 Accessible transport services – A case study in Hong Kong Edith Mok Milly Chan Ezra Lau Norman Ngan Anthony Wong Recommended Citation Mok, E. , Chan, M. , Lau, E. , Ngan, N. , & Wong, A. (2010). Accessible transport services – A case study in Hong Kong. Paper delivered at The 12th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED), held in Hong Kong on 2-4 June, 2010.
This Conference Paper is brought to you for free and open access by Social Research in Transport (SORT) Clearinghouse. It has been accepted for inclusion in Social Research in Transport (SORT) Clearinghouse by an authorized administrator of Social Research in Transport (SORT) Clearinghouse. For more information, please contact pauline. [email protected] monash. edu. au. ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORT SERVICES – A CASE STUDY IN HONG KONG Dr. Mok, Edith The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Hong Kong. [email protected] com Chan, Milly, The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Hong Kong. illy. [email protected] org. hk Lau, Ezra, Volunteer, Hong Kong. [email protected] com Ngan, Norman, Volunteer, Hong Kong. [email protected] com Wong, Anthony, Braincare Self-Help Group, Hong Kong, China. [email protected] com. hk SUMMARY Accessible Transport Service has been in the public agenda in Hong Kong for the last few decades. Work has been done by the Government and service operators and much progress has been made. So far, there are very few evaluations with the different service operators from the private and public sectors. esidents. Furthermore, the need is increasing with the aging population and the advocacy of disabled This case study is to gather information about the Government’s policy and execution, the NGO’s responses and support, and the service operator’s view and action towards accessible transport services. The scope covers: 1. Government Departments: (a) Commissioner of Rehabilitation, Labor and Welfare Bureau; (b) Ferry and Paratransit Division of Transport Department; (c) Social Welfare Department. 2.
Service Operators: (a) Kowloon Motor Bus (1933) Ltd (Public Transport Operator); (b) Auxiliary Medical Services (Government); (c) Christian Family Service Center (NGO); (d) The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation (NGO). 3. An Opinion Survey was arranged in 16 March – 30 March 2010. The questionnaire includes the perception of satisfaction level, improvements in the last 10 years, and expectations for the next 10 years from Service Operators for local land accessible transport service, inclusive of: (a) public ransport service including Rail (Mass Transit Rail – MTR and the merged Kowloon Canton Rail Co. – KCRC) and Buses (franchised); and (b) specialized accessible transport services from NGO including Rehabus Service (RB), Easy-Access Transport Service (ETS), and Accessible Hire Car Service (AHC). The result of the interviews with the Government Departments and Service Operators are summarized in the subsequent sections.
The findings indicate that each of the Service Operators has a different role to play for accessible transport: (a) 90% of the population is taking up traveling by public transport service. There is an obvious need to jet up the facilities and infrastructure for People with Disabilities (PwD) and the elderly. Investment is in place to carry forward with continuous improvements. (b) Specialized accessible service is available through [i] Rehabus Service – subvented bus service to provide door-to-door and designated destinations of the persons with disabilities (PwD).
Rehabus service has been in operation for 32 years. [ii] Ease-Access Transport Service – taking elderly patients from their homes to public hospitals and clinics as referred to by Hospital Authority hospitals and clinics. This service has been in operation for 9 years. [iii] Accessible Hire Car Service – taking personalized transport service for wheelchair passengers from anywhere-anywhere and any-time. This is meant to be a self-finance service operating for 2 years. AHC is run as a pilot project with partial funding It is charging 20% more than taxi. upport from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charity Trust until 2011. (c) Auxiliary Medical Service with 6 Non-Emergency Ambulance Transfer Service (NEATS) to take patients, mostly PwD and elderly, to/from private hospitals and General Out-Patient Clinics (GOPC). (d) Persons with age 65 or over are offered half-price for public transport service. The survey (405 respondents) reflects that the satisfaction level of the respondents is moderately satisfactory for public transport service and higher for the specialized accessible transport service run by NGO’s.
The progress made in the last 10 years was augmenting at a reasonable level. The expectations in the next 10 years, though, are higher than before. The demand and supply situation is not leveled. There are waiting lists and rejected orders experienced in the last 5 years for the specialized accessible transport service. From the survey comments, some respondents are not satisfied yet to the extensiveness of facilities and infrastructure provided by public transport service. This will be improved according to the interviews with the Government Departments and Service Operators over time.
This case study is only a pilot study. A more thorough study by the relevant groups may be desirable. Key Words: Accessibility, Disability, People with Disabilities, Public Transport, Policy. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY st Background – The 1 White paper on Rehabilitation “Integrating the Disabled into the Community: A United Effort” was published by the Hong Kong Government in 1977. made in the last few decades. enacted and the 2 ndr Significant strides have been In 1995, the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 487) was
White Paper on Rehabilitation “Equal Opportunities and Full Participation: A Better Tomorrow for All” reiterated the Government’s commitment on the sustainable development of rehabilitation services. In 1997, public transport operators also put in place a number of supportive measures, including the introduction of low-floor buses and improvement to the access facilities at Mass Transit Rail (MTR) stations. rd From 2005-2007, a 3 round of rehabilitation program plan (RPP) review took place by the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee (RAC) Working Group.
One of the 12 recommendations made by the Working Group was on Access and Transport: a barrier-free environment is fundamental to the full integration of persons with disabilities (PwD) into the community. The RPP supports continuous implementation of the “Transport for All” policy and considers it necessary to ensure continuous advancement of the policy on barrier-free access facilities (HKRPP, 2007). The policy objective of the Government in respect of access and transport is to create a barrier-free physical environment for PwD, which permits their free access to all buildings and use of public transport.
The Government strives to achieve the policy objective by carrying out the following measures: (a) implementing “Transport for All” policy which sets out clear objectives and directions for better transport service – formulating measures for and conducting timely reviews on the “5-Betters Strategy” – [i] Better accessible transport services for all; [ii] Better public transport infrastructure and facilities for all; [iii] Better streets and pedestrian areas for all; [iv] Better planning standards, guidelines and procedures; and [v] Better partnership for action and results. b) Providing a discussion platform for PwD to work with the public transport operators and the relevant Government departments to improve the public transport service through the Working Group on Access to Public Transport by PwD; (c) making available special transport service such as “Rehabus” and “center bus” provided by rehabilitation centers to PwD who cannot access public transport service. Definition of Disability – As one may have disabilities of various degrees in a number of aspects or different aspects at different stage of life, it is inappropriate to pigeonhole disabilities rigidly.
Rehabilitation services should be people-oriented while meeting specific needs of individuals. Hong Kong has a population of 7. 4 millions with 438,300 PwD and Chronic Diseases (HK Statistics, 2009). Additionally, there are 893,000 people who were aged above 64. These are illustrated in Figure 1, 2 and 3. With an aging population, demand on such accessible facilities has been on the increase. Scientific and technological advances have enabled many people with severe disability to leave their hostels or residence to take up employment and participate in social activities.
Public views received during the 3 RPP included: (a) to continue to enhance Rehabus Service for PwD who are unable to use public transport; (b) to continue to encourage public transport operators to provide barrier-free public transport service and facilities; (c) to explore the feasibility of introducing wheelchair accessible taxi service; (d) to encourage public transport operators to provide concessionary fares for PwD. rd Hong Kong Aging Population (1) 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 85 and over 75 – 84 Age 65 – 74 Hong Kong Disability Population
Population in ‘000 Population in ‘000 200 150 100 50 0 Year 2003 Population in ‘000 Year 2023 Population in ‘000 1 Restricted in body movement Seeing difficulty Hearing difficulty Types of disabilty Speech difficulty Mental disease/mood disorder Autism/LD/ADHD Intellectual disability Figure 1 – Total Population of 2003 and 2023 Figure 2 – Disability Distribution in 2009 Hong Kong Population Growth 9,000 Population in ‘000 6 4 3 2 1 0 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 Growth Rate in % 8,500 8,000 7,500 7,000 6,500 5 Population in ‘000 Growth Rate %
Figure 3 – Hong Kong Population Growth Purpose of Study – to explore the basic requirements and demands of local accessible land transportation services for PwD and elderly in Hong Kong for the foreseeable future. The scope covers public and specialized transport services, including: the MTR (Rail), Buses (Franchised), ETS (Easy-Access Transport Service for Elderly), Rehabus Service (Accessible buses), and AHC (Accessible Hire Car Service). It will serve as a pilot study to examine the gaps between the demand and supply for consideration by the relevant groups. METHODS A series of the interviews took place in March 2010.
On the Government side, face-to-face Interviews were conducted with (a) the Commissioner for Rehabilitation (CforR) of Labor and Welfare Bureau, and (b) the Chief Transport Officer and Senior Transport Officer of the Ferry and Paratransit Division of Transport Department (TD); and (c) a telephone interview was arranged with the Senior Social Work Officer of the Rehabilitation and Medical Social Services of the Social Welfare Department. On the transport service operator side, interviews were organized with (a) the Head of Traffic Department and Principal Engineer, Bus Engineering of Kowloon Motor Bus Co. 1933) Ltd (KMB); (b) the Senior Operations & Training Officer of the Auxiliary Medical Service (AMS); (c) the Senior Service Manager, Integrated Services and Centre Manager, Community Rehabilitation Day Centre of the Christian Family Service Centre. (d) As I am a member of several committees and sub-committee of The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, I took the liberty to gather the information required during the course of the study. An opinion survey was designed and distributed on 16 March 2010 to the self-help groups; Day Rehabilitation Centers in the hospitals and community; users of Rehabus (RB), Easy Access Transport Services Ltd. ETS) and Accessible Hire Car Service (AHC). I also sent out the questionnaire to people who are in all walks of my life; including those alumni from my primary school, secondary school, universities; and colleagues and friends, and their parents and siblings and friends. friends and their sphere of contacts were also invited. March 2010. My disabled 405 questionnaires were received by 30 The questionnaire asks for the Degree of Satisfaction in the current accessible transport services, the Progress made in the last 10 years, and the Expectations for the next 10 years.
It contains the (a) MTR/KCRC (Rail); (b) Franchised Public Buses; (c) ETS; (d) Rehabus; and (e) AHC. For each type of transport, the respondents were to rate their perception on (a) Service attitude; (b) Convenient facilities; (c) Safety; (d) Comfort; (e) Frequency and timeliness. RESULTS Commissioner for Rehabilitation – The RRP very much documented the development of rehabilitation in the last few decades. The current roadmap to action include: (a) $200 millions are allocated to improve MTR accessible facilities for the next 5 years. b) AMS and ETS will depend on demands. It will be the Hospital Authority (HA)’s responsibility to oversee the needs of elderly and PwD from their residence to the hospitals and clinics. (c) The Rehabus (with ~80% subvention) is serving a nitch market for door-to-door transportation for PwD. Its service will commensurate with the demands. (d) AHC, generally 20% more expensive than taxi, provides accessible transport service to wheelchair passengers who can afford the price. It is filling a gap in the demand of responsive personal transport service for wheelchair users. e) The public transport service, like MTR and franchised buses, are moving towards a more accessible transport system, facilities, and infrastructure for the PwD and elderly. Transport Department (Ferry & Paratransit Division – About 90% of the population is dependent on public transport. The ratio is about 36% on rail (MTR & others), 34% on buses, and 30% on others. Figure 4 shows the public transport distribution by types in the last 10 years. Figure 5 illustrates that the % of franchised buses with low-floor has changed from 27% in 2001 to 51% in 2009; and with bus stop announcement system has changed from 12% in 2000 to 74% in 2009.
Figure 6 broadly describes the expansion of the rail system by MTR in the last 10 years, with the merge of Kowloon Canton Rail Company (KCRC) of 13 stations in 2007. MTR has expanded their stations from 44+13 in 2000 to 84 in 2009; and 5 lines in 2000 (Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, IslandLine, Tung Chung Line, and Airport Express Line) to 10 lines in 2009, adding in the Disneyland Resort Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, Ma On Shan Line, East Rail, and West Rail. Hong Kong Public Transport – 2000 and 2009 (Approx. No. f passenger trips in Millions per Year) Types of Transport Franchised buses MTR (& KCRC) – rail Light rail Rail Feeder Bus Trams Peak Trams Ferry Green Minibus Red Minibus Taxi Residents Service Total Year 2000 (millions) 1,511. 80 1,067. 10 118. 1 15. 5 86. 1 3. 5 56. 1 386. 3 201. 7 357. 6 48. 2 3852. 0 100. 00 10. 03 5. 24 9. 28 % of Year 2000 Total 39. 25 27. 70 3. 07 Year 2009 (millions) 1,391. 30 1,325. 60 143. 5 37. 5 84. 4 4. 8 51. 2 533. 4 142. 4 348. 3 77. 8 4,140. 3 100. 00 12. 88 3. 44 8. 41 % of Year 2009 Total 33. 0 32. 02 3. 47 Figure 4 – Hong Kong Public Transport – Comparison of 2000 and 2009 Hong Kong Franchised Bus for PwD Hong Kong Public Transpot – MTR Lines & Stations No. of Franchised Buses No. of Lines/Stations 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 No. of No. of low- No. with franchised floor buses bus stop buses announce. 100 80 60 40 20 0 No. of MTR Stations No. of MTR Lines Year 2000 Year 2009 Year 2000/2001 Year 2009 Figure 5 – HK Franchised Buses for PwD Figure 6 – HK Public Transport – MTR (Rail)
By 2009, MTR has the following facilities implemented for PwD: For Visually Impaired Passengers (a) the tactile guide paths at all stations (except Racecourse) and Light Rail stops, escalators audible signals in all stations, platform tactile yellow lines in all stations without platform screen doors; (b) Light Rail route number announcement system; (c) tactile station layout maps for 23 stations; (d) audible device in exit gates in all stations in 8 Lines; (d) braille plates on ticketing issuing machines, add value machines, public toilets and lifts in certain stations; (e) color contrast grab poles inside certain trains, (f) a buzzer when the door is closing; (g) color contract inter-car barriers in some trains to prevent passengers stepping on to the track between train carriages; for Hearing
Impaired Passengers (h) induction loops to assist hearing aid users; information cards to facilitate communication between staff and passengers at all Customer Service Centers; (i) passenger information display systems at most station entrances, concourses and platforms; (j) flashing system maps showing location and direction of the train at 4 MTR Lines; (k) active line diagrams in 2 Lines; (l) in-train information panels displaying next station information and operational messages in 7 Lines; for Mobility Impaired Passengers (m) multi-use spaces in all trains, (n) wide gates allowing wheelchair passing into or out of the paid area (except a few); (o) portable or movable ramps allowing wheelchair users to move easily between the platform and train at all stations (except a few); for all users (p) elevators from the street level to the train departure level for some stations. This is the result of $600 million of the Station Improvement Program to-date. In 2010-2014, $200 millions investment will be invested in improving for PwD and elderly purposes. The MTR User Group and TD User Group meet regularly to spearhead the effort for improvements for the PwD and elderly. MTR is offering half price for PwD starting 2009. There are 5 franchised bus companies providing bus services to the traveling public. The bus operators are: (a) Citybus Ltd. ; (b) Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Ltd. ; (c) Long Win Company Ltd. ; (d) New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Ltd. ; (e) New World First Bus Services Ltd.
They have about 5,900 buses and operate about 570 routes. About half of the buses are wheelchair accessible. They are equipped with fixed ramps and wheelchair parking spaces inside the compartment for carriage of wheelchair bound passengers. Next bus stop announcement and display system are provided on board of about 4,200 buses for visual and hearing impairment respectively. Citybus is allowing half price of Hong Kong Island bus routes to the elderly persons with age over 60. The specialized transport service, viz. Rehabus, ETS, and AHC are reported in the subsequent sections. The above MTR and franchised bus services are extracts from the Guide to Public Transport for PwD (2009).
Social Welfare Department – A monthly Transport Supplement is payable to eligible Disability Allowance applicants who are in the age group of 12 to 64 to encourage them to participate more in activities away from home, thereby enhancing their integration into society. It is paid at a flat rate together with the allowance to eligible Disability Allowance applicants. With effect from 1 February 2009, the amount of transport supplement is at $210 per month. Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (1933) Ltd – KMB has a fleet of ~3900 buses running on ~ 400 routes, 66% of the total franchised buses and 70% of the total routes in Hong Kong. The thrust of provision for PwD commenced 1992.
In 1997, the Chairman of KMB showed his commitment in social st st responsibility by introducing the 1 low-entry double decker in Hong Kong, being the 1 of the world. Post 1997, every new vehicle purchased must be wheelchair accessible. Facilities inside the bus are continually upgraded for those with hearing and seeing difficulties. KMB has 1,960 low-floor vehicles in 2010 as compared to 650 in 2000. There were 62,000 wheelchair passengers in 2009. It is believed to be the biggest low-floor bus fleet and the largest pickup of wheelchair passengers for public transport service in Asia. By 2016, KMB will have the entire fleet converted to wheelchair accessible buses (note: the bus life cycle is 17-18 years).
Looking ahead for 5 years, KMB will continue to upgrade their fleet with new facilities, part of which is for PwD and elderly. Auxiliary Medical Service – AMS was established in 1950 in accordance with Medical Service Ordinance (CAP 517). Its workforce consists of ~100 Government employed staff with 4,418 volunteers. One of the three social services of AMS is to provide Non-emergency Ambulance Transfer Service (NEATS). The service has a fleet of six non-emergency ambulances providing transfer service to patients of Department of Health, Social Welfare Department and private hospitals. The NEATS provides charge-free services from Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm including public holidays.
The main target clients are those who need the medical care and attention, being referred by the out-patients clinics of Hospital Authority and private hospitals (over 20 private hospitals in Hong Kong). The 6 NEATS ambulances began in 1996/1997. It is supported by ~150 volunteers managed by permanent staff. The clients served by NEATS are mostly disabled and elderly. Christian Family Service Centre (CFSC) – This NGO was established for over 50 years. It has a total of ~900 staff and serves 14 Elderly-related centers and a number of Rehabilitation centers, amongst all other services delivered. I had the opportunity of interviewing the Senior Managers of the Integrated Rehabilitation Services and Community Rehabilitation Centre.
Each of the elderly or rehabilitation centers is served by 16-seaters or 20-seaters vehicles for wheelchair and mobility-limited clients. There are ~25 vehicles totally in use by different elderly/rehabilitation centers, 4-5 of which are for PwD and the rest for elderly. All the vehicles are funded by the Social Welfare Department with Hospital Authority’s referral. Very often, the demand of vehicles has to be supplemented by the use of Rehabus. The transportation service for mentally retarded clients are not subvented thus the need For rehabilitation, has to be funded from others like Community Chest, Hong Kong Jockey Club, etc. CFSC provides the transport services for PwD of less than age 60, while NEAT and ETS provide for those for age 60 or over.
The interviewee indicated that the development for Elderly transportation service is better than for Disabilities in their environment. Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation – HKSR is an NGO established in 1959 by the late Prof. Harry Fang, the Father of Rehabilitation. one of its major objectives. offered: It has a total of 500-600 staff. Providing accessible transport is The following summarizes the 3 types of accessible transport services Rehabus Service (RB) History Since 1978 (32 years) Funding Source Labour and Welfare Bureau, (Subvented) Service Offered Provide accessible transport services for PwD to travel to/from workplaces, schools, and public places.
Easy-Access Transport Service (ETS) Since 2001 (9 years) Hospital Authority (Contracted) Accessible Hire Car Service (AHC) Since July 2008 (2 years) HKSR (Self-financed) Provide accessible bus service to Elderly to attend medical appointments in public hospitals and clinics. Provide personalized, quick-response, convenient and accessible transport services for wheelchair users Service types (RB) / Features (AHC) 1. Scheduled Route (SRS) 1. 24 hours 2. For hospitals, workplaces, public places, tourist attractions 3. 1 wheelchair & 5 escorts or 2 wheelchair with 2 escorts 4. Sitting on own 2. 3. Dial-a-Ride (DAR) Pooled Dial-a-Ride (PDAR) 4. Feeder (FD) heelchair thru-out the journey Vehicles in use By April 2010 115 Rehabuses (112 12-seater light bus + 3 23-seater bus with adaptation to wheelchair users) Target users By Disabilities Wheelchair Crutches Spastics Blind Multiple disabilities 1. Frail elderly patients to public hospitals and clinics 2. HA hospitals & international events – accessible transport needs 3. Excess demand from Rehabus DAR 1. Wheelchair users & escort 2. Personalized service 3. Night demand 26 ETS vehicles (24 23-seater buses + 2 12-seater) 20 AHC vehicles (7-seater private car) Rehabus Service (RB) With 32 years of operating the dedicated accessible transport bus service, Rehabus is quite mature in this service. The demand of service is increasing, so is the no. f rehabuses (23 additions in 5 years) and annual passenger trips (22% increase in 5 years). Managing a fleet of 115 rehabuses by hand is a big challenge and less efficient. Management is looking at automating the scheduling and streamlining the order booking process in the near future. The no. of users registered for the Scheduled Route service (SRS) was 871 and the no. of vehicles assigned was 69 at the end of March 2009, averaging 12. 63 users per vehicle. users on the waiting lists as at March 2009 and March 2010 respectively. There were 36 and 41 Dial-a-Ride (DAR) service provides accessible transport service ordered by PwD organizations and individuals.
All 115 rehabuses are providing DAR service, including ~70 rehabuses using the spare The no. of DAR passenger trips has grown 29% and the no. of rejected DAR capacity after SRS. orders has grown 58%, while the addition of rehabuses was 25% in the last 5 years. This means that the demand side of accessible transport is increasing and the supply side is lagging behind. FY2005 -06 Total No. of Passenger Trips of SRS Total No. of Passenger Trips of DAR Total No. of Passenger Trips of Rehabus Service No. of vehicles deployed by the end of FY (financial year) 260,519 301,890 562,409 FY2006 -07 266,754 329,225 595,979 FY2007 -08 268,751 341,156 609,907 FY2008 -09 291,391 370,847 662,238
FY2009-10 (Mar-10 projected) 296,700 390,800 687,500 92 95 101 109 115 Rehabus Service Performance in the past 5 years (FY2005-06 ~ FY2009-10) Total No. of Passenger Trips of SRS Total No. of Passenger Trips of DAR No. of vehicles deployed by the end of FY 450,000 400,000 350,000 301,890 329,225 260,519 92 266,754 95 268,751 101 109 115 341,156 291,391 296,700 370,847 390,800 200 150 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 100 50 0 FY2005-06 FY2006-07 FY2007-08 FY2008-09 FY2009-10 (with Mar-10 projected) Note: DAR includes Pooled Dial-a-Ride Service (PDAR) & Feeder Service (FD) Figure 7 – Rehabus Service Performance – the last 5 years No. f applicants on the waiting list of Scheduled Route Service of Rehabus in the past 5 years (FY2005-06 ~ FY2009-10) No. of applicants on SRS waiting list 42 40 38 36 34 32 FY2005-06 (as of Mar-06) FY2006-07 (as of Mar-07) FY2007-08 (as of Mar-08) FY2008-09 (as of Mar-09) 41 39 40 36 35 FY2009-10 (as of Mar-10) Figure 8 – Rehabus Waiting List – Scheduled Route Service Total No. of Orders Rejected of Dial-a-Ride Service of Rehabus in the past 5 years (FY2005-06 ~ FY2009-10) Total No. of Orders Rejected 12000 10449 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 FY2005-06 FY2006-07 FY2007-08 FY2008-09 FY2009-10 (with Mar-10 projected) 11000 9398 8382 6957 Figure 9 – Rehabus Waiting List – Dial-a-Ride Service Easy-Access Transport Service (ETS) ETS has the same no. f vehicles in its operation for 9 years. The increase in no. of patients is 14% in the last 5 years. The no. of rejected orders is 13%, the same as 5 years ago. No. of Pati ent Tri ps Served and Rej ected Pati ent Tri p of Easy-Access Transport Servi ce i n the past 5 years (FY2005-06 to FY2009-10) No. of Patient Trips served Rejected Patient Trips 155,000 180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 FY2005-06 17,930 136,018 139,275 144,959 146,446 16,280 16,800 17,760 20,520 FY2006-07 FY2007-08 FY2008-09 FY2009-10 (with Mar-10 projected) Figure 10 – Easy-Access Transport Service Performance – the last 5 Years Accessible Hire Car Service (AHC)
This new personalized delivery service for PwD wheelchair passengers recorded a total of 104,506 trips in 2009, with 2% rejected orders. from the HKJC Charity Trust till 2011. This is a self-financing service by HKSR with partial support The vehicles are run on petrol (as opposed to LDP) and are imposing a financial burden to the service. The breakeven point is having 7- 8 trips per day. Total No. of Passenger Trips & Rejected Orders of Accessible Hire Car Service in 2009 120000 104505 100000 80000 60000 Total 40000 20000 2282 0 Total No. of Passenger Trips Total No. of Rejected Orders (projected) Figure 11 – Accessible Hire Car Service Performance – 2009 Opinion Survey with 405 respondents – The collection of data was done within a period of 2 weeks in March 2010.
The collected data are more skewed towards the opinions of the PwD than the elderly as there was limited time allotted. The respondents are less knowledgeable about ETS and AHC. The data is a collection from 5 patient self-help group; 3 rehabilitation centers from an HA hospital and the community; users of accessible transport services from Rehabus, ETS and AHC; and disable and able individuals from the community. The 5 accessible transport services to be evaluated are: (a) MTR – Rail, (b) Bus, (c) ETS, (d) Rehabus, and (e) AHC. (a) and (b) are public accessible transport service which accounts for 90% of passenger trips for the total travelling population. c) ETS was introduced through special funding from HA in 2001 and charged at kind of subvented price for elderly to attend their medical appointment with public hospitals and clinics. (d) Rehabus service was introduced to PwD and subvented by the Government for 32 years. (e) AHC was introduced to the wheelchair users 2 years ago at market rate which is 20% more than the taxi with a minimum charge of $100 by HKSR. Demographics Disability Type – No. of persons Wheelchair 79 20% Blind 15 4% Deaf 11 3% Others 258 64% Unknown 42 10% Total 405 100% Education Level – No. of persons Primary school and below 108 27% Age – No. of persons Over 60 127 31% 51-60 28 7% 41-50 150 37% 18-40 67 17% Below 18 23 6% Unknown 10 2% Total 405 100% Secondary school 195 48% College and above 85 21% 17 4% 405 100% Unknown Total Income Level – No. f persons $3,000 and below 120 30% $3,001 – $10,000 56 14% Above $10,000 106 26% 123 30% 405 100% Unknown Total Disability Type – Respondent Profile 1 500 400 300 200 100 0 Education Level – Respondent Profile 2 500 No. of Persons No. of Persons Ot he rs Bl in d Un kn ow n To tal De af 400 300 200 100 0 Primary school Secondary school College & above Unknown Total W he elc ha ir Figure 12 – Disability Type Profile Figure 13 – Education Level Profile Age – Respondent Profile 3 500 Income Level – Respondent Profile 4 500 No. of Persons No. of Persons 400 300 200 100 0 400 300 200 100 0 $3,000 and $3,001below 10,000 Above $10,000 Unknown Total 18 Un kn ow n 1 -6 0 41 -5 0 Ov er 60 18 -4 0 Figure 14 – Age Profile Be low To tal Figure 15 – Income Level Profile Awareness of the 5 types of accessible transport services varied – Out of the 405 respondents, 94% rated for the MTR and bus for public transport services, 71% for Rehabus, 55% for ETS, and 52% for AHC. This is understandable because 90% of the Hong Kong population is using public transport (MTR and Bus together add up to 70%). Rehabus is well-known within the PwD group for it has been operating for 32 years. ETS is used mostly for elderly medical appointments in the past 9 years; and at spare time, it is used as a back-up service to Rehabus. equires time to build up its reputation. Awareness of Accessible Transport – From Respondents 100 80 60 40 20 0 Awareness level- All (405) Awareness levelWheelchair users (79) AHC is only servicing for 2 years and it % of Awareness M TR ET S Re ha bu s Figure 16 – Awareness of Accessible Transport – From Respondents Figure 16 showed that Rehabus, ETS, and AHC are less known to the group of respondents but they are better known to the wheelchair passengers. Below is a summary of the opinion survey with 405 respondents. AH C Bu s A comparison with progress made in the last 10 years and expectations for the next 10 years is included. The rating is expressed in: (a) (b) (c)
Scale of 0 – 9; 0 is very dissatisfactory while 9 is very satisfactory (now) Scale of 0 – 9; 0 is no progress made while 9 is very progressive (vs 10 years ago) Scale of 0 – 9; 0 is no expectation while 9 is very high expectation (in the next 10 years) The mid-point is 4. 5, meaning neutrality. Any rating above 4. 5 is inclining towards the positive side. Current Perception of service quality Satisfaction Level (a) Average of MTR – Service Attitude Average of Bus – Service Attitude Average of ETS – Service Attitude Average of Rehabus – Service Attitude Average of AHC – Service Attitude Average of MTR – Convenience of facilities 6. 5 5. 8 6. 2 7. 0 5. 9 6. 0 Improvements over the last 10 years (b) 6. 4 5. 9 6. 1 6. 9 5. 5 6. 2 Expectations for the next 10 years (c) 6. 8 6. 5 6. 6 7. 1 6. 3 6. 7
Average of Bus – Convenience of facilities Average of ETS – Convenience of facilities Average of Rehabus – Convenience of facilities Average of AHC – Convenience of facilities Average of MTR – Degree of Safety Average of Bus – Degree of Safety Average of ETS – Degree of Safety Average of Rehabus – Degree of Safety Average of AHC – Degree of Safety Average of MTR – Degree of Comfort Average of Bus – Degree of Comfort Average of ETS – Degree of Comfort Average of Rehabus – Degree of Comfort Average of AHC – Degree of Comfort Average of MTR – Frequency & Timeliness Average of bus – Frequency & Timeliness Average of ETS – Frequency & Timeliness Average of Rehabus – – Frequency & Timeliness Average of AHC – Frequency & Timeliness 5. 2 6. 3 7. 1 5. 7 6. 5 5. 7 6. 7 7. 4 6. 0 6. 1 5. 7 6. 4 7. 1 6. 1 6. 8 5. 5 6. 0 6. 5 5. 8 5. 6 6. 0 6. 6 5. 4 6. 4 5. 7 6. 1 6. 9 5. 7 6. 0 5. 6 6. 1 6. 7 5. 7 6. 5 5. 6 5. 8 6. 4 5. 5 6. 4 6. 4 6. 9 6. 3 6. 8 6. 6 6. 4 7. 0 6. 3 6. 8 6. 5 6. 5 7. 0 6. 3 6. 9 6. 6 6. 5 6. 9 6. 3 The survey reflects moderate satisfaction with the accessible transport service in Hong Kong. In terms of public transport, the satisfaction level of MTR is relatively higher than the buses, particularly with the frequency and timeless (with 1. point difference). Rehabus has got the highest satisfaction rating in general because it is a door-to-door delivery service at affordable price which is important for PwD. ETS service appears to be the next in satisfaction except for its service delivery frequency. AHC has a reasonable rating as it is developing its service. Bus service is relatively less satisfactory perhaps due to the fact that only 51% of the buses are equipped with low-floor but this will improve in the future. On the expectations for the next 10 years, the rating stretched from 6. 3 to 7. 1. This could be interpreted as having a relatively high expectation (mid-point is 4. 5).
The service operators are expected to do more than just maintaining the current service level. There are 36 other comments from the respondents. 18 comments are for accessible public transport and is summarized as follows: (a) the compartment for wheelchair and disable passengers in MTR and the buses are normally occupied by able passengers and sometimes are not released to the needed; the case is becoming worse when there are more Mainland travelers in Hong Kong; (b) the frequency of bus service for wheelchair passengers is too infrequent. It takes much more time to travel through public transport; (c) the facility of wheelchair need to be improved, e. g. he infrastructure near certain bus stops are located on the slopes, the older MTR stations are not built for wheelchair passengers, etc (d) more public awareness on the special needs for people with mobility difficulties. 5 comments are related to giving PwD half-fare concession for all buses. To summarize, it appears that Hong Kong is well-positioned within Asia and the world for accessible transport service. It would be worthwhile to publicize exclusively through public websites like the Public Transport Enquiry Service (PTES) of the Transport Department, MTR and KMB. CONCLUSION In the past 33 years, Hong Kong has made significant progress in the provision of accessible transport services to the PwD and to a certain extent, to the elderly. The Government has taken action, with the
RAC Working Groups, to formulate and enhance policy from time to time (3 Rehabilitation Programme Plan (RPP) Reviews) to create a barrier free physical environment for PwD to ensure that PwD can participate in full and enjoy equal opportunities both in terms of their social life and personal growth. The Government and the Service Operators (NGO’s and Transport operators) are working diligently towards the Policy Objectives to provide direct services and measures for the rehabilitation of PwD, along with RPP recommendations on service development in meeting the changing needs of the community and service users. From this case study, interviews with the Commissioner for Rehabilitation (Government), Transport Department (Government), Kowloon Motor Bus Co. Bus Service Operator), Auxiliary Medical Service (Government), Christian Family Service Centre (NGO), and The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation (NGO) have brought more insight into the accessible transport service in support of the “Transport for All” Policy in Hong Kong. The survey, through 405 questionnaires collected in March 2010, gave some form of verification to validate the effectiveness of the policy measures. The result postulates that the respondents are relatively satisfactory with the improvements made in the last 10 years; yet their expectations are higher in the next 10 years. The momentum is building up. The Government, NGO’s, and Commercial Transport Service Operators must continue to refine and redefine the opportunity for accessible transport in the future.
REFERENCES 2005-2007 Rehabilitation Programme Plan Review Working Group. 2007. “Hong Kong Rehabilitation Programme Plan”, printed by the Government Logistics Department, HKSAR. A Guide to Public Transport for People with Disabilities. 2009. Printed by the Government Transport Department, HKSAR. Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics – Feature Article. 2009. “Persons with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases”, printed by the Government Logistics Department, HKSAR. Introduction to Auxiliary Medical Service (Since 1950). Published by AMS, printed by the Government Logistics Department. http://www. legco. hk/yr01-02/english/panels/fa/papers/fa0611cb1-1957-1e. pdf. February 2010. Accessed n 16 http://www. chp. gov. hk/files/pdf/grp-hkphps-en-2005092001. pdf for 2003 and 2023 data. Accessed on 16 February 2010. http://www. censtatd. gov. hk/hong_kong_statistics/statistical_tables/index. jsp? charsetID=1&tableID=00 2%20for%202009 for 2009 data. Accessed on 16 February 2010. http://www. swd. gov. hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_ssallowance/ Accessed on 19 March 2010. http://www. ams. gov. hk/eng/main. htm Accessed on 24 March 2010. http://www. kmb. hk/tc/ Accessed on 9 April 2010. http://www. mtr. com. hk/eng/homepage/corp_index. html Accessed on 9 April 2010. http://www. rehabsociety. org. hk/ Accessed on 9 April 2010.