24 February 2004
KCRC welcomes Government’s announcement on merger
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) today welcomed the Government's announcement of inviting the KCRC and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) to commence negotiations on a possible merger.
The KCRC Chairman, Mr Michael Tien, said, "The Corporation will strive to work closely with the MTRCL with a view to conducting and completing the negotiations on the basis of the parameters and within the six-month time frame as set by the Government."
Mr Tien said, "The decision has cleared uncertainties about the way forward for our Corporation. If a mutually agreed proposal for a merger can be reached through the negotiations, Hong Kong, in particular the travelling public, will benefit from better integration of the railway networks, more customer friendly interchanges, and greater operational synergy. The merger may also provide room for fare reduction.
"We will study the details of the Government's parameters, and liaise with MTRCL on the timetable for negotiations.
"One of our priorities is our staff. From the operational point of view, we believe that there is little scope in the foreseeable future to combine the KCR and MTR systems into a single network as the power supply system, the signalling and rolling stock of the two networks are different. As a result, we do not anticipate any impact on front-line staff.
"We believe that a merger will achieve some synergy in the administrative and support group of departments by way of streamlining the administration of the two corporations. We will communicate with all staff in an open and transparent manner.
"We will work closely with the Government and the MTRC towards the common goal of meeting the milestones set in the Government's guidelines, and will keep our staff informed of the progress, " Mr Tien said.