- KMB and New Lantao Bus will put prices up in April, while Citybus and New World First Bus will have two rounds of raised prices over the next nine months
- The additional cost should be no more than HK$1 for most journeys, the government said
Bus fares are going to go up next month across the city after the government signed off on higher charges on Tuesday.
The Executive Council gave the nod to Citybus and New World First Bus, which are both owned by Bravo Transport, to increase fares in two phases – by 8.5 per cent from April 4 and a further 3.2 per cent on January 2 next year, a nearly 12 per cent rise in total.
KMB was allowed to raise fares by 8.5 per cent, while New Lantao Bus can charge passengers 9.8 per cent more, both effective on April 4.
But the government said the actual fare rise for routes solely operated by KMB would be 5.8 per cent as the company has some exemptions.
About 90 per cent of passengers would pay no more than HK$1 extra per trip after the April increases, and the same proportion would pay an extra HK$1.50 in January, according to the government.
Commuters can, however, obtain some relief through the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme.
It already allows passengers to claim back about a third of their monthly expenses on travel after subtracting HK$200 , down from the previous HK$400, a change that was set to expire at the end of June but which has now been extended to the end of the year. The subsidy cap has also been increased from HK$400 to HK$500, starting next month.
The bus companies saw a fall in riders – and therefore income – over the past year due to the pandemic.