No late-night MTR, no problem: Trams to run til 3am for Mid-Autumn fest

A Hong Kong tram. Photo by Chad Williams.
A Hong Kong tram. Photo by Chad Williams.

Good news for island denizens looking for a way home after a night of tearing up the dance floor in Lan Kwai Fong this Mid-Autumn weekend.

Hong Kong Tramways announced this afternoon that it will be extending their tram services for the first day of the Mid-Autumn Festival — that’s tonight, folks — until 3am. Most trams typically stop running about 12:30am.

The news comes just a day after the MTR Corp announced it would not be providing overnight train services, meaning a lot of revelers would have to cut their festivities short or rely on Hong Kong’s notoriously tough-to-hail nighttime cabs.

The MTR’s decision came as a bit of a surprise, given that the railway operator has normally kept their trains running a bit later on big public holidays like New Year’s Day and Chinese New Year. The MTR said they came to the decision to forego overnight services following a risk assessment and after consulting relevant government departments, HK01 reported.

The city’s railway operator has frequently found itself in the crosshairs during the ongoing extradition protests, now in their fourth month.

In July, it was on the receiving end of anger from anti-government protesters who accused the MTR of not doing enough to protect people inside the Yuen Long MTR station on the night of July 21, where a group of men in white shirts indiscriminately attacked protesters, journalists and commuters. Some protesters responded by staging flash protests and causing disruptions to train services.

Then, in August, Chinese state media accused the MTR of “providing train services to rioters for free,” an accusation that came in the form of a dramatic video package complete with apocalyptic disaster movie music.

Shortly after that video came out, the MTR announced that it would shut stations without notice in the event of any violence or vandalism happening outside its stations, a move that prompted yet more protests directly targeting the train service.

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