Monday, April 18, 2016

Light Rail

One of the great things about living up in the New Territories is that there is a Light Rail system.  It's a mini set of trains that run along the streets and get to the places where the MTR cannot get to.  

In Yuen Long, the Light Rail runs along Castle Peak Road.  There are mainly FIVE stops:

1.  Shui Pin Wai (which is near the Yuen Long Plaza and the Yuen Long West Bus Terminus)
2.  Fung Nin Road
3.  Hong Lok Road
4.  Tai Tong Road (which is the main intersection)
5.  Yuen Long MTR Station (which connects to Yoho Mall)

The entrance and exits are quite open, but there are Light Rail staff there to catch anyone who hops on without paying!

Speaking of…in Seattle, there have been a handful of people who I've seen just jump on the Light Rail without paying.  But, there are the Light Rail "police" who jump on at random times to check people's tickets.  It's such a hard system to apply trust to…when you don't have a clear ENTRANCE and EXIT gate!

When entering the Light Rail platform, you have to "doot" the Octopus Card on the Entrance Machine (for a lack of better words to describe!)

When exiting, you "doot"the Octopus Card again and an automatic charge for the distance traveled will be deducted.

The platform is pretty standard…with some benches and an overhanging cover to protect patrons from the rain.  Times of the oncoming Light Rail cars are also displayed on the platform.

A map, which is pretty tough to figure out at first (but comes in time) is also available at every stop.  So, you can stand there and study where to go!

On some platforms (the bigger ones in the city centers) also have Octopus Card recharging machines.  So, if you find your Octopus Card empty, you can always top it off at one of these machines.  English language option available!

The Light Rail is pretty handy during those times when you just don't feel like walking the 15 minutes to the other end of Yuen Long!  It's often quite crowded though…just like the streets, but it does make life a little bit faster!

A word of caution…always watch where you are going when crossing the street…I've seen people not even look both ways before crossing over the light rail track...

…and a HUGE SOUNDING HORN from the Light Rail conductor will blow and totally make your heart stop!  Because there are no barriers when the Light Rail goes by, it is pretty dangerous to cross the road without the OK from the Cross Walk Sign.

The Light Rail System extends from Yuen Long to Tuen Mun and a few places in between!