Lawmakers accuse MTR of unfair pricing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 March, 2008, 12:00am

Lawmakers have accused the government of allowing the recently merged railway service to operate an unfair price mechanism.

The Legislative Council passed a motion yesterday pressing the government to discuss with the enlarged MTR Corporation the introduction of monthly tickets and student fare concessions on all MTR lines.

Since its merger last year, the MTR Corp has not introduced the monthly ticket concessions offered by the former Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, while student concessions have not been applied to all rail lines.

Legislator Wong Kwok-hing criticised the government for failing to supervise the railway service's pricing mechanism - under which students enjoy fare concessions travelling along former MTR lines but not on former KCRC lines.

'Being the biggest shareholder of the MTR Corp, the government should explain its responsibility clearly. How can it allow an unfair price mechanism to exist?' he asked.

Cheung Man-kwong of the Democratic Party urged the administration to take an active role and press the rail company to offer fare concessions to all students.

'Why divide students into two groups? One group can enjoy fare concessions while the other is discriminated [against].'

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng stressed that the merged railway should be allowed to make its own pricing decisions, while the government would keep an eye on the matter.