How big is too big on the MTR?

How big is too big on the MTR?

A new scheme means musicians will be able to carry large instruments in stations and on trains

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The MTR has stopped people from carrying large musical insturements.
Photo: EPA

A registration scheme to allow musicians to carry larger instruments on the MTR will be launched next month.

This was announced on Tuesday after a public consultation to review current rules against carrying big objects in stations and on trains.

The scheme follows a public outcry after reports that MTR staff stopped people carrying large musical instruments - although photos showed parallel-goods traders wheeling even larger objects on to trains.

However, the scheme still won't permit large instruments, such as the double bass, harp and guzheng.

Dr Jacob Kam Chak-pui, the MTR's operations director, said yesterday that under the scheme, passengers could register instruments that slightly exceed existing size restrictions.

Under the current regulations, items with total dimensions exceeding 170cm, or any side longer than 130cm, are banned from trains.

The scheme will run as a trial during non-peak hours for several months starting in November.

But Andrea Zoen, a 14-year-old South Island School student, said the scheme won't benefit music students.

"The scheme should allow musical instruments to be carried at all times, because it's supposed to be convenient. It's not fair to be singled out for carrying instruments - I've seen other passengers carrying bulky suitcases," she said.

Catherine Wang Zhaoxi, 16, from Chinese International School, agrees. "I have a musical instrument and it's very inconvenient to [limit when I can carry it to] non-peak hours. I also don't find this scheme makes others safer … Can't it take my feelings into account?"

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
How big is too big on the MTR?

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