Legislative Council Panel on Transport

Progress of Year 2000 Compliance Exercise in Transport-related Organisations


This paper informs members of the Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance position (as at March 1999) of the public transport sector, including the essential service providers.

Progress in Rectification Work

2. As in other sectors, Government and the public transport operators concerned have been undertaking rectification work to ensure Y2K compliance of their operation and services, and most of the work are expected to be completed around mid-1999. Those organisations which may not be able to have the rectification completed within 1999 will have contingency plans put in place to ensure the services to the public will not be disrupted.

3. A summary of the Y2K compliance position of the major public transport facilities and operators is at Annex. In cases where the rectification work may not be completed in 1999 and contingency measures will be required, none of them are critical to the operation of the services and facilities. Neither do they have any implications on the safety of the public.

Road Tunnels/Bridges

4. The Transport Department (TD) has set up an inter-departmental task group to monitor progress of the Y2K compliance work for road tunnels/bridges. For the toll collection systems (TCS) in government tunnels, we intend to replace the relevant parts of the computer systems before the year 2000 and resort to rollback as the contingency measure. In the case of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel (which will be reverted to Government on 1 September 1999) whose system is found to be Y2K non-compliant, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel Company has undertaken to complete the rectification work by October 1999, irrespective of the success or otherwise of its bid for the future management contract of the tunnel.

5. Rectification work for the TCS at Lantau Link has experienced some delay as a result of contractual claims. We envisage that the contractor will be able to complete the rectification work by November 1999. Meanwhile, Government departments are drawing up the contingency plan which basically employs manual toll collection/monitoring system.

6. For the BOT tunnels (except for the Tai lam Tunnel which is Y2K compliant), rectification work for their TCS are also expected to be completed in the second half of 1999. Rollback/Manual operation will be adopted as contingency measure. The Autotoll Limited is now carrying out rectification work for its autotoll facilities at all government and BOT tunnels/bridges, also for completion by June 1999.

7. Other computer systems in government tunnels (such as the Environmental Monitoring and Control, Traffic Surveillance and Control, Plant Monitoring and Management Supervisory Systems) are Y2K non-compliant. Since the date entries in these systems are not critical to the operation, we intend to roll back the system date and replace the systems upon the normal end of their useful lives. Manual operation has been planned as a contingency measure. It will not present any safety hazard, nor difficulties in implementation.

Traffic Control Systems

8. The area traffic control (ATC) systems for Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin are found to be Y2K non-compliant. Rectification work for the Kowloon, Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin ATC systems have been completed. The Hong Kong Island ATC system has been rolled back as a contingency measure and so far, it has been working satisfactorily.

Government Carparks and Electronic Parking Meters

9. The mission-critical computer systems in government car parks and electronic parking meters are Y2K compliant except for the access control equipment at seven government multi-storey carparks. Rectification work will be completed by June 1999.

Licensing Services and Vehicle Examination

10. Rectification work for the vehicle and driver licensing system and the appointment booking computer system at the Vehicle Examination Centre are being carried out for completion in June and September 1999 respectively.

Public Transport Services

11. Most of the major public transport operators have been undertaking Y2K rectification work actively and are expected to complete their work around mid-1999. Contingent plans are also being drawn up. At the request of Government, these operators have been submitting regular reports to Government on progress of their Y2K rectification work and contingency planning.

12. The two railway corporations have completed most of its rectification work, and have been conducting internal and/or external testing particularly on their mission-critical components like the Central Control and the Signalling systems. The Creative Star is also undertaking tests to confirm the Y2K compliance of the Octopus ticketing system.

Contingency Planning

13. TD has set up a task group to monitor progress of the Y2K rectification work and contingency plans for the major public transport facilities and services. Meetings with transport operators are held if necessary to discuss Y2K issues concerning individual operators. TD will set up the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre (ETCC) on 31 December 1999 to monitor the overall traffic conditions, and co-ordinate the implementation of contingency measures by individual operators where necessary. Consideration will be given to sector-wide contingency planning, based on the existing emergency system to deal with situations such as disruption of rail and bus services.

Transport Department
19 April 1999


Progress of Y2K Rectification Work of Public Transport Operators
(as at March 1999)

OperatorProgress of rectification workContingency plan
Railway Corporation MTRC has completed the rectification work for its operational control system and business system. Tests are being conducted. Already in place. Test on contingency plan being conducted.
KCRC has completed 97% the rectification work for completion in June 1999. Tests are being conducted. Plans being prepared, for testing in end June 1999.
Franchised bus companies KMB and the Long Win Bus have completed the rectification work. Plans being prepared.
Citybus has carried out 65% of the rectification work (for completion in July 1999)Plans being prepared.
New World First Bus is already Y2K compliant; tests being carried out for verification purposePlans being prepared.
New Lantao Bus has carried out 95% of the rectification work (for completion in May 1999)Plans being prepared.
Hongkong Tramways Ltd. The company has carried out 97% of the rectification work (for completion in June 1999)Already in place
Peak Tramways Co. Ltd. The company has carried out 50% of the rectification work (for completion in July 1999)Already in place
The Star Ferry Co. Ltd. Y2K compliant Already in place
Hongkong & Kowloon Ferry Ltd. Y2K compliant To be drawn up
The Hongkong & Yaumati Ferry Co. Ltd. Rectification work is expected to be completed in June 1999 Already in place
Discovery Bay Transportation Services Ltd.Rectification work is expected to be completed in June 1999 To be drawn up
Shun Tak Ferry Ltd. Rectification work is expected to be completed in April 1999 To be drawn up
Creative Star Ltd.
Tests being carried out to re-confirm Y2K compliance Already in place