For information

Legislative Council Panel on Transport

Y2K Compliance in the Transport Sector :
Government's Contingency Plan


At the Panel Meeting held on 25 June 1999, Members discussed the Administration's latest update on the Y2K compliance position in the transport sector and the reports from the two railway corporations and Creative Star on their Y2K rectification work and contingency planning, and requested further information on the Administration's emergency plans and monitoring of the contingency measures by the public transport operators on 31 December 1999.

Contingency Planning by Transport Operators

2.Public transport operators and service providers have taken active steps to undertake Y2K rectification work on their mission-critical systems. Most of them have completed the rectification work required and the rest will complete the rectification work as soon as possible, and in time for the critical days. Government has insisted that irrespective of the Y2K readiness of the operators' and service providers' operational systems, they should have contingency plans drawn up, test-run and submitted to Government. For example, franchised bus companies will fall back to payment by coins or coupons as a contingency. Other transport operators will adopt common Y2K contingency measures like rolling-back of system date and manual operation which have been assessed to have no major implications on the service delivery and public safety.

3. The following Y2K contingency measures will be adopted for Government's transport facilities -

    (a) Government tunnels

    Rolling back system dates had been done. The contingency plan is to adopt manual collection of tolls. The operation of autolanes will be converted to normal manual operation in the unlikely event that the Autotoll system (which is Y2K compliant) fails.

    (b) Traffic Control System

    Rectification work has been completed. In the event that the Traffic Control System's central computers fail, the traffic signal controllers will continue to operate in isolation without any implications on road safety, as their built-in security feature will prevent green light from appearing in conflicting directions. The only effect will be on the capacity of road junctions.

    (c) Carparks and electronic parking metres

    Rectification work for Government carpark facilities has been completed, and on-street parking meters are Y2K compliant. The contingency measures are manual operation of the entry/exit gates and collection of parking charges.

Overall contingency planning

4. Based on its existing emergency co-ordination and response system to deal with disruption of transport services and other emergency transport arrangements, the Transport Department (TD) will activate their Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre, headed by a Deputy Commissioner for Transport on 31 December 1999, to serve as a sector-wide co-ordination centre with the following major functions -

  1. monitoring the road traffic, via the Area Traffic Control Centres and the CCTV systems throughout the territory, and the services provided by the major public transport operators;

  2. co-ordinating the implementation of the Y2K contingency measures by the TD and individual operators;

  3. co-ordinating any emergency transport arrangements to deal with disruption in, or excess demand for, transport services, be they Y2K-induced or not;

  4. liaising closely with the transport operators, other Y2K emergency co-ordination centres including the Police, Highways Department and the Central Government Co-ordination Centre; and

  5. disseminating information to the public on any special transport arrangements.
On (c), the Highways Department (HyD) will set up emergency control centres at its three Regional Offices and the Tsing Ma Control Area to ensure quick mobilisation of resources to undertake any urgent road works, including clearance of obstruction, to maintain smooth operation of the road network.

5. Special arrangements for power supply and communications will be put in place to ensure the operation of the headquarters and the key monitoring units/facilities of the TD and HyD will not be affected by any Y2K-induced incidents. Special briefing/training session will be provided to the concerned staff in the next few months. A Departmental Operational plan will be drawn up by TD for their staff to follow for the period from 30 December 1999 to 3 January 2000.

6. Further plans to co-ordinate the transport arrangements for individual Y2K-related venues (e.g. major Y2K celebration events) and special plans to assist the contingency plan of other sectors will be drawn up if necessary.

Transport Department
28 July 1999