[UPDATE - Tuesday, October 16, 12:30pm]
More than six hours after a signalling fault on the train network sent Hong Kong into traffic chaos, the city’s rail operator announced that a temporary fix was in place and its four affected lines had resumed normal service.
A system signalling error, announced just before 8.30am this morning, affected three MTR lines, leading to massive delays as commuters are advised to use other forms of public transport.
The incident extended the total journey time on the Island, Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong lines by 40 minutes. The delay affects all stations between Kennedy Town and Chai Wan, Whampoa and Tiu Keng Leng, as well as Central and Tsuen Wan.
Limited train services are being maintained on the affected lines at 12 to 15 minute intervals.
The delays and recommendation to use alternate modes of public transportation have resulted in huge crowds at Hung Hom Cross Harbour Tunnel bus station. Special bus routes are running to accommodate the number of passengers, and operators are stationed throughout the MTR and bus stations to offer directions, information, and support.
Commuters all over the city have been affected by the incident. "I’m currently on half term break from school, but I am on my way to a film shoot in Kowloon Tong, and the MTR delays are affecting road traffic from Clearwater Bay," said Natalie Kainz, 16, of King George V school. "The traffic is a lot more congested because people are choosing to drive instead. I have been stuck in the car for over an hour and have barely moved more than 200 metres in 20 minutes. This just goes to show how much the MTR affects the whole transport ecosystem."