A single adult ticket from Central to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok will cost $100 on the Airport Express, it was announced yesterday. The announcement follows the controversy in February when the Mass Transit Railway Corporation suggested fares ranging from $100 to $150, with an additional $20 to $30 handling fee for checking in baggage. The Transport Advisory Committee subsequently objected to any fares above $100 and charges for baggage handling, and demanded concessions for the elderly. A single journey to or from the airport on the express will be $90 from Kowloon and $60 from Tsing Yi. Passengers returning the same day will pay $150 from Central, $135 from Kowloon and $90 from Tsing Yi. Fares on the $35.1 billion line would stand for a year, MTRC chairman Jack So Chak-kwong said. 'We have considered the current economic difficulties and decrease in foreign visitors,' Mr So said. Infants under three will be able to travel free of charge. Children aged three to 11 will be charged half fare. Senior citizens using Octopus cards will be entitled to a free same-day return journey. Mr So said the concession was based on feedback received during the consultation exercise. All other passengers returning the same day will enjoy a 50 per cent discount on their return-journey fee. Free services will include check-in at Hong Kong and Kowloon stations; free transfer for Octopus passengers from the MTR to the express line; and a shuttle bus between hotels and the Hong Kong and Kowloon stations. On the Tung Chung Line, a stopping service, the fare between Tung Chung and Central is $20, Kowloon $15 and Chai Wan $23. Taxis will cost about $350 and buses between $20 and $40. It will take 23 minutes to travel from Central to Tung Chung and to the new airport. The Tung Chung and express services will start on June 22 and July 6 respectively. Albert Chan Wai-yip, infrastructure spokesman for the Democratic Party, said the fares were still much higher than other means of transport despite the concessions. 'Tourists or travellers who are in a rush may use the Airport Express, but the general public won't as it is so expensive. This deviates from our original expectation which was to have it as a means of public transport.' Mr So estimated 36,000 passengers would use the service every day but refused to say whether fares would be reviewed if there was a shortfall. The six-coach trains - which will travel at 135 km/h on the 34-kilometre line - will add another two coaches and increase frequency from every eight to every four minutes should traffic increase. Mr So was confident the railway would be competitive. 'A group of four people may take the taxi and the shared cost would be less . . . However, our service is value for money. We do not offer the cheapest service but the best quality service,' Mr So said. Travellers with a lot of luggage who used the airport only once or twice a year would not mind paying more money to go to the new airport by the railway. It was important to make sure the operations did not require subsidy from the existing system, Mr So said. The Executive Council discussed the fare scale yesterday and Transport Secretary Nicholas Ng Wing-fui last night defended the scale, saying it was cheaper than other airport rail services. 'This is a world-class railway providing speedy, reliable services and when you compare it you will find the fare is not high at all compared to an airport railway ride in London, Tokyo and other places - it is quite competitive and reasonable.' Mr Ng said it was important to cater to the different demands of travellers, including those wanting 'business class' luxury. There have been concerns travellers will boycott the expensive ride in favour of the $20 fare to Tung Chung and a short shuttle bus ride to the airport for a few dollars more. The airbus service, A11, from Causeway Bay to the passenger terminal will cost $40. The normal E11 bus service from Causeway Bay to the terminal will cost $21.