MTR’s new fare adjustments directly benefit passengers
I refer to the letter from Kwok Wing-yee (“MTR’s fare discount not really helpful”, April 13) regarding the MTR fare adjustment.
We welcome your correspondent’s opinions on the fare adjustment mechanism and the MTR’s fare concessions.
As your readers may know, the corporation completed an early review of the fare adjustment mechanism jointly with the government in March. Having listened to the opinions of different stakeholders, including passengers, during the review period, several new rebate arrangements have been adopted which will directly benefit passengers.
First of all, there will be a special reduction of 0.6 percentage points on the calculated fare adjustment rate for six years. For 2017/18, there is also a further one-off 10 per cent discount on the overall adjustment rate (we believe this is what your correspondent was referring to).
Under the new arrangements, the calculated overall fare adjustment rate for 2017/18 comes to plus 1.49 per cent, which falls into the threshold range of (plus/minus) 1.5 per cent and, according to the established mechanism, there will be no adjustment of MTR fares in 2017/18. The increase will be rolled over to the following year (2018/19).
Starting from mid-June, passengers paying with Octopus will enjoy a 3 per cent rebate on fares for every trip for a minimum of six months in each of the coming six years.
With fares staying unchanged this year, the 3 per cent rebate means that some five million daily passenger trips will be enjoying a fare cut starting from mid-June this year.
Another new rebate arrangement will also be launched to provide a direct fare concession to passengers through a discount of 30 cents for interchange between MTR and all green minibus routes.
There are also other promotional arrangements for passengers, such as Monthly Pass Extra, and MTR City Saver, and the ongoing fare concessions, which amounted to some HK$2.5 billion in 2016, will continue.
We would like to emphasise that the fare adjustment formula is an open, objective and transparent mechanism. It balances the interests of different stakeholders and keeps MTR fares at a reasonable level. It also allows the corporation to have a stable financial income to continually make investments in maintaining and upgrading railway assets to provide safe, reliable and efficient railway services for passengers.
In 2016 alone, more than HK$8 billion was spent on maintaining and renewing railway assets.
Kendrew Wong, media relations manager, MTR Corporation