From January 26, 2012 the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car will close its operations until further notice. The closure comes unexpected and is due to the latest incidents which occurred yesterday. More than 800 passengers were trapped in the hanging Ngong Ping 360 Cable Cars for more than 90 minutes. Experts believe that malfunction bearings caused the automatic monitoring system to halt the cable car system. Ngong Ping 360 decided to run an additional inspection and testing cycle for the next upcoming 10 days since this incident has not been the only one lately. In matter of fact, there have been three additional incidents with mechanical failures reported within the last 6 weeks.
You might wonder and worry if the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is safe. Taking a closer look at the Ngong Ping 360 ropeway you will notice that the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car attraction had difficulties with their systems from the very start. Alone during September and October 2006, there have been eight service suspension recorded. The series of technical faults reached a max when an empty cable car cabin fell off the cable during a brake test of the annual examination on June 11th, 2007.
Although, Ngong Ping 360 had a rough start and several (unexpected) service interruptions occurred since the re-opening in December 2007, most people would agree that complex systems like these always require and need a higher maintenance. Considering Hong Kong’s location and weather, it seems almost impossible to avoid malfunctioning bearings or belts. In addition, most of the visitors would also agree that the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is still a great attraction and offers memorable experiences.
The attractions of the themed Ngong Ping Village (Wisdom Path, the multimedia theaters, etc.), Big Buddha and the nearby Po Lin Monastery remain open during the maintenance cycle. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car management didn’t announce a date of resumption of the service yet, but expect that the Ngong Ping ropeway will use the above mentioned period to carry out additional tests. Keep in mind that the schedule of re-opening of the ropeway can change due to unforeseeable circumstances (weather) as well.
For visitors who are already in Tung Chung there are basically two alternative transportation options: Either you take the blue Lantau Taxi to the Ngong Ping village (expect to pay approx. HK$ 180) or take the New Lantau Bus No. 23. Please refer to the following link for more information about ticket fares and schedule of the New Lantau Bus No. 23.