HK$2.30 judged fair fare for tram ride
A more modern and comfortable tram system for Hong Kong may have been left stalled on the tracks.
From June 7, the cost of an adult tram ride will rise by 30 cents from its current HK$2. But Hong Kong Tramways had requested a 50 cents increase to fund improvements to the service.
While cutting the cost increase for a tram ride, the Executive Council approved in full the proposed HK$2 rise for taxi journeys.
From July 18, an urban taxi ride will cost a minimum of HK$20, up from HK$18. The initial charge was also raised by HK$2 in the New Territories and Lantau.
Officials said they cut the requested tram fare rise of 50 cents because it was too large a margin of increase and passengers favoured trams because they were cheap. A rise of 10 cents on the concessionary fare of HK$1 for the elderly has been held over for a year.
Veolia Transport, the French operator of the system, had hoped the HK$200 million renovation - including improvements to rail and traction systems, more comfortable cabins and onboard broadcasts - could reverse a decline in passenger numbers.
They have slipped by 1.5 per cent every year over the past decade.
The company has already started installing new tracks and a new braking system for the trams.