PLC Paper No. LS 54
Paper for the House Committee Meeting of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 19 December 1997
Legal Service Division Report on Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1997
Object(s) of the Bill
The Bill amends the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 270) ( " the Ordinance " ) to enable regulations and by-laws to be made in relation to transport interchanges between the Mass Transit Railway and other modes of transport.
PLC Brief Reference
2. TBCR 53/5/581/87 dated 26 November 1997 issued by the Transport Bureau.
Date of First Reading
3. 10 December 1997.
4. According to the Agreement for the Design, Construction, Financing and Operation of the Airport Railway between the Government and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation ( " the MTRC " ), the MTRC is responsible for the design, construction, completion, management, and maintenance of transport interchanges between the Airport Express Line, the Tung Chung Line and other modes of transport. The Airport Express Line is an express service running between Central and the new airport with stops at four stations, namely, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Tsing Yi, and Airport. The Tung Chung Line is a conventional mass transit service with stops at six stations, namely, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Olympic, Lai King, Tsing Yi and Tung Chung.
5. The Bill seeks to amend the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 270) to enable regulations and by-laws to be made in relation to the operation and management, in particular traffic control and the operation of public transport services, of the transport interchanges between the Mass Transit Railway and other modes of transport.
6. Under the Bill , the MTRC will, with the agreement of the Commissioner for Transport, prepare plans delineating the boundaries of every transport interchange and such plans will be certified by the Commissioner and deposited in the Land Registry. With the agreement of the Commissioner, the boundaries of any transport interchange may be varied by the MTRC from time to time.
7. Other provisions of the Bill provide for the following matters:
- making transport interchanges a public place for the purpose of the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245);
- empowering the Secretary for Transport to make regulations for purposes in relation to a transport interchange, including, inter alia, the powers of the Commissioner for Transport to give directions to the MTRC regarding the control and regulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, the operation of public transport services, carparks and parking spaces in a transport interchange, the provision by the MTRC of adequate, efficient, safe and continuous roads and facilities for the use of a transport interchange by vehicles and members of the public, the operation of public transport services and parking vehicles, and providing for access of vehicles and members of the public to a transport interchange;
- empowering the MTRC to make by-laws providing for the control and regulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and the operation of public transport services in a transport interchange;
- providing that a contravention of a specified provision of the regulations and by-laws shall be an offence and prescribing the maximum penalty for such offences (not exceeding a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 6 months);
- allowing the MTRC to impose fixed penalties for specific traffic offences prescribed under the by-laws; and
- applying the provisions of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) and its subsidiary legislation that apply to private roads and the Public Bus Services Ordinance (Cap. 230) and its subsidiary legislation to transport interchanges.
8. Upon enactment of the Bill, the Mass Transit Railway (Transport Interchange) Regulation ( " the Regulation " ) and the Mass Transit Railway (Transport Interchange) By-law ( " the By-law " ) will be made by the Secretary for Transport and the MTRC respectively. According to the PLC Brief, the Regulation and the By-law will be submitted to the Provisional Legislative Council for scrutiny in January 1998.
9. The Administration has consulted the MTRC on the content and wording of the Bill. The MTRC has agreed to the proposed amendments to the Ordinance.
Consultation with PLC Panel
10. There has not been consultation with any PLC Panel.
- This is primarily an enabling Bill which empowers the Secretary for Transport and the MTRC to make regulations and by-laws respectively in relation to transport interchanges. The detailed provisions on the control and management of transport interchanges will be set out in the Regulation and the By-law.
- Apart from certain technical points on which the Legal Service Division is seeking clarifications from the Administration, the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are in order. In view of the fact that the policy aspects of the Bill have not been referred to any PLC Panel before, Members may wish to consider whether it is necessary to set up a Bills Committee to study its policy implications, for example, the scope of the regulation and by-law making power.
FUNG Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
16 December 1997