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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Two thirds of citizens want operators to maintain public transport service frequencies during pandemic

Two thirds of citizens want operators to maintain public transport service frequencies during pandemic

More than 65 percent of citizens said public transports operators should maintain their service frequencies during the pandemic, a Democratic Party survey has found.
The party asked 653 citizens from April 4 to April 18, and it found that the frequency of public transports has not resumed normal despite the fifth wave of epidemic having subsided.

From the beginning of the fifth wave of Covid, the Transport Department allowed bus companies to suspend some routes and drastically cut frequencies, which 61 percent of respondents pointed out to cause adverse impacts on their daily travels, according to the survey result.

Nicholas Hon Chun-yin, the party’s spokesman of transport policy, said since the resumption of evening dine-in service, reopening of some entertaining premises, and citizens returning to work in office, the bus services were not enough, causing extremely crowded carriages.

“Public's dissatisfaction with the public transport service during the epidemic has become a mainstream opinion,” Hon said.

“The government should call on relevant institutions to resume normal transport, to avoid the risk of the spread of the epidemic caused by overcrowding with too few services,” said Hon.

In addition, Hon said the government should also be concerned about the minibus industry, which is already facing difficulties, but due to the reduction of the number of drivers during the pandemic, the cost of operations has been increased, resulting in a cycle of reduced service provision and reduced revenue.

Furthermore, over 70 percent of respondents agreed the public transport fare subsidy should be maintained after the outbreak, which also indicates citizen’s dissatisfaction with high public transportation fees.

Some 75 percent of respondents believed that citizens’ affordability should be taken into account in the MTR fare adjustment mechanism, including the proportion of household transport expenditure, the proportion of low-income employees, the unemployment rate and CSSA caseload.

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