New World First Bus

Fares to be cut on costly bus routes in July

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 March, 2006, 12:00am

Fare reductions will be introduced in July on 24 bus routes that now cost $10 or more for a single trip.

Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Sarah Liao Sau-tung said the fare cut would be implemented after the Octopus system had been modified so that a single system could be applied to routes jointly operated by different bus companies.

The four companies are the Kowloon Motor Bus Company, Citybus, New World First Bus Services and Long Win Bus Company.

Responding to a question raised by legislator Cheung Hok-ming from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Dr Liao said more time was needed for the modification as the bus companies did not use the same Octopus system.

The Transport Department estimates that about 76,000 passengers on the 24 jointly operated routes will benefit from the fare cut.

For medium- and long-distance routes, four franchised bus companies have already launched fee reduction on 74 solely-operated routes. The cut will remain effective for three years.

Under the bus fare adjustment mechanism, the rate at which profits must be shared with customers is reduced from 13 to 9.7 per cent.