Is MTR permit for musicians a trap?

Is MTR permit for musicians a trap?

A new policy for musicians to carry large instruments on the MTR isn't going down too well

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Protesters carry large instruments at Tai Wai station.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

T he MTR has issued a new permit to allow people to carry large musical instruments on its trains. But art executives and musicians said yesterday the permit contains "insulting" terms. They also said it creates problems for everything from insurance to rehearsal times.

The MTR reviewed their policy and launched the trial scheme yesterday after people had complained about musicians having to get off trains with their cases. People can apply for permits to carry instruments longer than 130cm, the usual maximum for luggage on the MTR, but no longer than 145cm. Permit applications will take seven working days to process.

But people have problems with the new scheme.

One clause, for example, says MTR officials have the right to check the instrument and ask the permit holder to prove their identity. But Ada Wong Ying-kay, who works for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, said: "An instrument is the personal property of an individual. He or she can allow anyone to borrow it or use it. No authority can deny that right."

Musicians were also worried. Another term in the permit says the MTR isn't responsible for any damage caused to an instrument while staff are checking it.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Is MTR permit a trap?

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