About 11,000 disabled commuters may be able to enjoy half fares on the city's railways before the end of this year after fighting for the cause for nearly a decade. But they would still have to await amendments to the Disability Discrimination Ordinance before the scheme can come into place. In announcing the plan yesterday, the MTR Corporation said the step was necessary to eliminate the possibility of legal challenges because the benefits would only be granted to CSSA recipients aged between 12 and 64 with 100 per cent disability, and disability allowance recipients of the same age group. 'We don't want any doubts [whether it is legal],' said general manager for marketing and station commercial Jeny Yeung. 'We must find a definition for disabled person, which is a very vague term. Our resources are limited and we must find a target group.' Lawmakers had demanded that all disabled people, including the chronically ill and those not on social subsidies, should enjoy the discounts, but the MTR Corp feared the number would be too large. MTR Corp general manager for corporate relations Miranda Leung Chan Chi-ming said the scheme could be grounded if the Legislative Council does not support the law amendment proposal, but she added the company was very optimistic it would pass. The Labour and Welfare Bureau said it hoped to present the amended ordinance for reading in Legco in October. The government granted a one-off sum of HK$2 million to reimburse part of the scheme's costs - including production of Octopus cards and publicity. Lawmaker Leung Yiu-Chung and community groups were pleased with the plan. Allen Chan Kam-yuen, convenor of an alliance that represents 48 disabled groups, said the announcement was a surprise. 'We have fought for it for so long and suddenly our dream comes true.' The alliance hoped the MTR Corp would set an example for other operators of public transport. Both KMB and New World First Bus said they would discuss with the government what kind of financial assistance they could offer. A spokeswoman for New World First Bus, which also owns Citybus, said it was a commercial enterprise, unlike the MTR Corp, which is largely owned by the government. New World First Ferries and the Star Ferry Co offer half-fare concession to disabled commuters. The government and the Equal Opportunities Commission welcomed the MTR Corporation's plan.