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July 24, 2006
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Great moments in economics
Hong Kong has three tunnels that join the island with Kowloon. The best located one is also the cheapest and thus extremely congested at all times of day and night. Meanwhile the two alternative tunnels cost more and are used far less. So in a startlingly example of stating the obvious, the SCMP blows the lid on an earth-shattering report the government has sat on:
An unpublished report by prominent academics claims that by manipulating Cross-Harbour Tunnel tolls during peak hour, congestion could be eased so much that harbour reclamation or a fourth tunnel would be unnecessary...An unpublished report by prominent academics claims that by manipulating Cross-Harbour Tunnel tolls during peak hour, congestion could be eased so much that harbour reclamation or a fourth tunnel would be unnecessary.The estimate for a 4th tunnel is about HK$6.6 billion, give or take a cost blow out or two. What are the objections to this seemingly simple plan? It would be confusing, it would require consensus, it would pass costs on to public transport passengers, it's not feasible, people might slow down or speed up just prior to changing toll times...not one of these is a real objection. What's lacking is the political will to implement such a solution, even though our friends in Singapore managed to do so years ago.
It's not just economics, it's common sense. It won't happen.posted by Simon on 07.24.06 at 12:58 PM in the Hong Kong category.
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1. the scmp quoted academic, are the data based on today's or those of a few years later
2. gov't's plan, is the tunnel the bottleneck or are there more near the tunnels?posted by: sun bin on 07.24.06 at 02:23 PM [permalink]
Whenever I take the through train to HungHom and I need to get to the Island...I grab a taxi and tell him where I need to go and then tell him, 'the western tunnel is OK.' It costs a few bucks more, but you get there in a decent amount of time.posted by: GZ Expat on 07.25.06 at 10:21 AM [permalink]
1. Doesn't say but it's implied that it's not a recent report.
It could be a stupid question or there could have been a scam going on all these years.
I am wondering why not a bridge or two or three with (untolled)pedestrian sidewalk to boot. What could be in the way of such consideration? The water current? Shipping? Aesthetics?
Why does it have to COST to get from one side to the other.posted by: Amb on 07.25.06 at 09:20 PM [permalink]