Cut in New Territories taxi fares expected next month

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 12:00am

Taxi fares in the New Territories could be cut as soon as next month, under plans to implement reductions of up to 25 per cent.

Officials from the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau said they planned to meet the Executive Council early next month to seek approval for the taxi operators' application to reduce fares.

The Transport Advisory Committee, which advises the chief executive and Exco, last Friday said it backed the cuts, which drivers hope will boost business.

The committee's support means Exco approval is all but guaranteed.

Once approved, the reductions would be implemented immediately, the bureau officials said.

The move comes as the drivers' urban counterparts remain divided over a similar plan made earlier in the month to cut fares by up to 30 per cent.

A bureau spokeswoman said it planned to present the New Territories taxi operators' proposal to the Legislative Council's transport panel for consultation tomorrow, before a meeting with Exco early next month to finalise approval for the scheme.

Under the proposed fares, the flag fall stays at $12.50 and the first seven ticks of the taxi meter will be charged at the usual $1.20 each, but subsequent fare increases would be cut to 90 cents each.

The spokeswoman said it was speeding up the application because the New Territories taxi groups had 'already reached consensus, unlike the situation with the urban taxis'.