29 Apr 2016
Link Asset Management Limited (Link) has today become the first car park manager in Hong Kong to offer free upgrades to fixed parking spaces for eligible persons with disabilities. The new initiative complements Link’s HK$200 million investment in enhancing the barrier-free access (BFA) facilities across its 170 properties, which is set to be completed later this year.
There are presently around 40,000 people with disabilities in Hong Kong. From today, eligible and registered customers with disabilities can apply for monthly fixed parking spaces, and disabled people currently using floating parking spaces will be offered a free upgrade to a monthly fixed parking space. Additionally, disabled people already using monthly parking spaces with a registered Octopus card have been receiving a 60% discount in parking fees.
"Link attaches great importance to creating a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities,” said Simon Tu, General Manager – Car Park at Link Asset Management. “This new initiative increases the number of fixed parking spaces for people with disabilities by 350. The total discount in parking fees offered to people with disabilities amounts to HK$14 million each year," he said.
The programme launched by Link in 2011 to expand and improve BFA facilities across all its properties is already complete in 142 locations. The upgrades encompass accessible lifts, visual fire alarms, tactile guide paths and warning strips, low platform service counters, ramps, Braille layout maps, accessible toilets, and accessible parking bays. Link is also strengthening its staff’s knowledge in BFA through training to further improve its services for physically impaired customers. The upgrade for the nearly 170 properties in Link’s portfolio will complete by the end of this year.
International BFA expert Dr Joseph Kwan has been monitoring and supporting Link’s implementation of these measures. "Over the past five years, Link has stayed true to its commitment of creating a barrier-free environment in its shopping centres, rising to all kinds of challenges to bring better services to people with disabilities," said Dr Kwan.
At present, 49 of Link’s properties appear on the List of Barrier-free Companies from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, with 51 additional locations expected to undergo assessment. Link is aiming bring its total number of properties on the list to 100 this year. “Link has been proactive in enhancing the provision of BFA facilities, and attentive to the needs of the physically challenged,” said Allen Chan from the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth’s Rehabilitative Affairs Sub-committee. “Through its advisory committee on BFA facilities, Link has been listening to, and acting on, the views of the disabled, seniors, the infirmed, pregnant women, and caretakers of young children, to bring improvements to its facilities.”
Over the past ten years, Link has contributed approximately HK$3.3 billion to community support initiatives in Hong Kong, benefitting over 500,000 people in Hong Kong. This includes Link’s HK$200 million BFA upgrades, as well as HK$3 billion in subsidy by leasing shop space to approximately 160 welfare organisations at concessionary rent.