Hong Kong tram riders set to pay up to 13 per cent more as operator seeks first fare increase in six years
Hong Kong Tramways hopes new prices will take effect early next year
The operator of Hong Kong’s iconic trams plans to raise fares by up to 13 per cent, its first increase in six years.
Adults will be charged HK$2.60 from the current HK$2.30 per trip, while children and senior citizens will see an increase of HK$0.10, to HK$1.30 and HK$1.20 respectively, according to Hong Kong Tramways.
The 113-year-old company added that monthly fares for the trams, affectionately known as “ding dings”, will go up to HK$220 from HK$200 now.
It submitted an application for the price adjustment to the city’s Transport Department on Thursday. The company, which hoped that the new fares could take effect early next year, said in a statement: “The proposed fare increase is crucial for the operational viability of tram service and for sustaining the tramways’ service improvement and renewal programmes.”
The French-owned tramways company, which serves only Hong Kong Island, said it had been struggling with rising costs and fierce competition from the MTR Corporation’s new West Island Line, which runs between Sheung Wan and Kennedy Town. It suffered about a 10 per cent decline in ridership since the new MTR line started operating in late 2014.
But even with the fare increase, the operator said that it will remain “the most affordable transportation in Hong Kong”.
It also said the proposed increase is significantly lower than the city’s overall price adjustment of consumer products, which has jumped 20.3 per cent over the past six years.