On the first day of the mask mandate being lifted on March 1, 2023, only a few people were seen maskless on their way out of an MTR station yet. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong residents on Tuesday said the downward adjustment in the MTR ticket fare hike this year is “a good thing”; however, they expect to see a reduction in the overall fares.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung announced the MTR Corp’s profits from its property business would be linked to its metro fares — a move which is expected to lead to a 3.85 percent drop in this year’s ticket fare hike under the annual fare adjustment mechanism. The final results of the fare adjustment will be announced later, pending the release of the transport service’s nominal wage index in late March. The new fares will take effect in June.
Local resident Jacky Ko Chung-kit said that factoring in the rail operator’s property development profits — its main source of revenue — is a much fairer way of calculating the ticket fare adjustment than the previous way.
Under the new arrangement, the higher the profits of the MTR property business, the lower the fare hike it can impose, Ko said.
Ko called on more Hong Kong companies to introduce a more equitable wealth distribution system so that more residents can enjoy the fruits of economic development.
Leung Fai, 40, a chef at a restaurant in Tin Wan, takes the South Island line of the MTR on his daily commute. He said that even though MTR stations on the subway are quite close to each other, his commute still costs him more than HK$10 ($1.27) each way. He said he thinks this is unreasonable.
Leung welcomes the new pricing policy; however, he said that MTR fares are expensive for the grassroots, and that he hopes MTR Corp can introduce more measures to reduce fares.
Garie Lau, a 40-year-old restaurant owner, said that for the public to benefit from this fare reform, the government must ensure that the cost of the downward adjustment in the fare hike will not ultimately be borne by residents.
Lau said an MTR fare increase would push more people — especially the elderly and children — to take the bus. She also called for lowering MTR ticket fares, saying that the new measures were “unsatisfactory” to the public.
Zelensky, Scholz discuss strengthening Ukraine's defense
China backs Serbia in defending sovereignty
Danish govt proposes historic boost for defense spending
Putin: Drone attack on Moscow clear sign of terrorist activity
Measures to help heat up foreign trade
Copyright 1995 - 2023. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily. Without written authorization from China Daily, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.
HONG KONG NEWS