Hong Kong MTR

MTR fare hikes, despite huge profits, hurt passenger goodwill

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2018, 1:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2018, 1:35pm

I am writing in response to your article on the expected MTR fare hike this summer (“Hong Kong MTR fares set to rise by 3.14 per cent”, March 27). I believe this will hurt passenger goodwill towards our only railway operator.

To begin with, the MTR Corporation has increased fares by more than 20 per cent since 2010, while its profits have continued to rise, soaring 64 per cent last year, to HK$16.8 billion.

Fare increases every year save one since 2010 have imposed a big financial burden on the public, most of whom have no choice but to accept the hikes, as the MTR is a necessity for their daily commute.

But this trend of fare hikes, based on a controversial fare adjustment mechanism, will slowly increase passenger discontent. Even though the MTR has promised to continue to offer “sweeteners” to travellers, I do not think this will quell the general ill feeling.

In addition, MTR services have often broken down in recent years, causing inconvenience to passengers. That the MTR chose to increase fares, rather than appease passengers and improve their services, would make them more angry and critical of the company.

The MTR should spend more on improving its services and offer more discounts, so as to reduce passenger discontent.

Grace Wong, Kwai Chung