PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Hong Kong bus firms decline to seek fare increases this year

Lower fuel costs cited by Kowloon Motor Bus and Long Wing Bus companies

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 8:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 8:01am

Kowloon Motor Bus Company and Long Win Bus Company will not be applying to Hong Kong authorities for fare increases this year, their parent company announced on Thursday.

Transport International also said KMB would be offering 5 per cent off its exclusive routes, namely those not jointly run with other bus companies.

KMB’s discount is to be offered to passengers paying full adult fare with their Octopus smart cards. The special rate is expected to run for two months from May to June, and it will apply over and above existing interchange discounts, when passengers interchange between certain bus routes and MTR.

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The decisions were made as Transport International also announced Thursday that KMB recorded a profit after taxation of HK$617.7 million last year – an increase of HK$129.5 million from 2015.

Long Win Bus will not be offering discounts as it recorded a profit after taxation of just HK$31.2 million last year, marking a decrease of HK$25.8 million from 2015. Long Win Bus’s total operating expenses last year went up by HK$63.7 million, to HK$435.2 million.

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“Fuel consumption also increased as a result of the increase in kilometres travelled due to service enhancement, but this was partly offset by reduction in fuel costs as a result of the fall in international fuel prices,” Transport International said in its announcement.

The last time KMB raised its fare was in 2014, when the increase was an average of 3.9 per cent. That was lower than the 4.3 per cent the bus company had applied for.