Call for committee to monitor rail ticketing and fares

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 September, 1997, 12:00am

The powers of the Transport Advisory Committee should be increased to let it monitor rail fares, according to a motion endorsed yesterday.

The motion, an amendment to a motion by Lau Kong-wah of Civic Force, was tabled by Cheung Hon-chung of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) and passed by a vote of 24 to 13.

Mr Cheung said the committee as a consultative body played only a passive role in monitoring the railways.

He wanted the committee to supervise rail services including ticketing and fares.

Chan Kam-lam, also of the DAB, said the party wanted to stop the railways abusing their powers on fare rises.

'The three railways have just increased fares and launched the Octopus smart card but if you calculate it carefully, the new card strips off past concessions,' Mr Chan said.

Chan Yuen-han of the Federation of Trade Unions and Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood supported the call for wider public participation.

Ms Chan suggested the committee operate more transparently and include members of concern and pressure groups, government officials and professionals.

But Dr Raymond Ho Chung-tai, a former committee chairman, said it should maintain its role as a consultancy.

Secretary for Transport Nicholas Ng Wing-fui disagreed with Mr Cheung's motion.