The KCRC is offering a 10 per cent cut during the downturn A journey on the new West Rail line from the New Territories to Kowloon will cost $16, the KCRC said yesterday, but there will be a 10 per cent discount until the economy recovers. The announcement was made as the Transport Advisory Committee of the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau approved an application by New Territories taxi operators for a fare reduction of up to 25 per cent. The proposal will be tabled next week to the Legislative and the Executive councils. Michael Tien Puk-sun, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's chairman, yesterday told Legco's transport panel that the new rail line, which will open in September, would charge $16 for the whole trip from Tuen Mun to Nam Cheong in Shamshuipo, but the discount would cut it to $14.40. He said that the fares were acceptable because the company had taken into account the views expressed by passengers. KCRC and Kowloon Motor Bus will jointly offer concessionary discounts ranging from $1 to $1.50 at the Nam Cheong interchange, where passengers can transit between buses and trains. However, lawmakers attacked the discounts, claiming the cost was still too expensive compared with bus fares. Legislator Lau Kong-wah said: 'I can't see the West Rail offering any direct competition to franchised buses. The cost of taking West Rail and switching to buses at interchanges will be more expensive than taking point-to-point buses.' Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said the fare should be closer to the East Rail fare linking Sheung Shui and Hunghom, which is about $8.50. Under the New Territories taxi pricing proposal, the flag fall will remain at $12.50 and the first six charges will continue to be $1.20, but each subsequent charge will be 90 cents. A decision on a proposed cut of up to 30 per cent for urban taxis has yet to be reached.