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Sunday, Jun 13, 2021

Bus fares in Hong Kong to go up as much as 12 percent after government approval

Bus fares in Hong Kong to go up as much as 12 percent after government approval

Hong Kong citizens will have to bear more travel costs after the government approved a request from four of the city’s bus companies to raise fares.
On Tuesday, the Executive Council gave the nod to Citybus, and New World First Bus, to increase charges by 12 percent, with the first 8.5 percent increment taking effect on April 4, and a further 3.2 percent to take effect on January 2 in 2022.

The council also approved a 9.8 percent fare increase for New Lantao Bus, and an 8.5 percent increase for KMB. Both will take effect on April 4.

However, with the mitigating effect from the Franchised Bus Toll Exemption Funds, there will only be an overall weighted average fare increase of 5.8 percent for passengers of KMB.

Meanwhile, the Council had turned down Long Win Bus Company’s application for the bus fare increase.

Separately, the government will extend the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme for six months till December 31, and temporarily raise the monthly subsidy cap from HK$400 to HK$500 during the period from April 1 to December 31.

A government spokesman said with the gradual cessation of government relief measures, individual franchised bus operators are facing severe financial difficulties because of the declining revenue and rising operating costs.

“It is of great importance to maintain the financial viability of the franchised bus operators for providing safe and quality public bus services, the government will continue to encourage and assist franchised bus operators to adopt a multi-pronged approach in the long run in implementing revenue-raising and expenditure-cutting measures,” the spokesman added.

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