Bus company not grasping and uncharitable
IN response to the letter headlined, ''Fare deal to elderly'' (South China Morning Post, April 15, from ''Name and Address Supplied''), we would like to confirm that CMB have proposed a concessionary fare scheme for the elderly to the Government and we hope to implement this scheme shortly.
In the Financial Secretary's Budget speech on March 3, it was proposed that to enable public transport operators to implement schemes for the elderly, the Government would make certain financial concessions, namely the waiving of licence fees and rentals.
There are currently a couple of minor technical difficulties in association with these financial concessions which we are discussing with the Government, and hope that the proposed scheme can be implemented in the next few weeks.
We would therefore like to strongly refute the statement that we have a grasping, uncharitable attitude.
We would also like to point out that the author made an error when he/she stated that CMB is the only public transport company not to have discount fares for pensioners.
He/she also commented on bus services serving Stanley. The first point concerned the fare level.
Stanley village is currently served by six bus routes, namely routes 6, 6A, 14, 63, 73 and 260.
When determining fare scales all the Hongkong Island routes are categorised by route type and kilometrage, with the longer the journey distance the higher the fare.
The first five of the routes mentioned all fall into the ''Southern routes not exceeding 20 kilometres'' category.
The current fare scale for this category of routes is $4.80, which was a 6.7 per cent increase over the old fare of $4.50 when the new fares came into operation on April 5.
This increase should be compared against an inflation rate of over 21 per cent since the previous fare rise.
Route 260 is categorised as an ''Express Service'' as it routes via Aberdeen Tunnel.
The buses usually operating this service are air-conditioned single-decked vehicles, all of which are under two years old.
These were the first low-floor single-decked vehicles fitted with facilities for the disabled to be put into operation in the territory and the vast majority of passengers appear to like this service and we have received numerous letters of praise.
We hope that this response has covered the points raised in the letter, but if the author wishes to contact us directly we will be happy to discuss any other issues on our bus services that he/she may wish to raise.
K. C. NG Public Relations Officer China Motor Bus Company Limited