The MTR Corporation announced on Tuesday that it will raise MTR fares by 2.7 per cent. The increase is the seventh consecutive year fares have risen, despite the company posting a HK$13 billion profit last year.

The increase was seen as controversial after the government asked the railway giant to review the Fare Adjustment Mechanism a year earlier than scheduled “to respond to public concerns about the MTR’s overall profitability and passenger affordability”.

Overcrowding during a system shutdown last year. Photo: Franky Yu, via Facebook.

Apple Daily reported that each ride will cost an estimated two cents more and, the further the ride, the more expensive it will be. It said fares will be three or even four times more expensive than bus tickets for commuters crossing the harbour.

Dr. Hung Wing-tat, an associate professor at the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told the newspaper that the current mechanism is highly transparent, but the public “will not be pleased” after the MTRC made a huge profit.

A MTR train heading to Lok Ma Chau. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Netizens voices their displeasure about the news. One commented with sarcasm: “This is a fare adjustment mechanism of purely raising but not lowering. The annual increase is so common that it no longer makes the news.”

Another referred to the corporation as “money grubbing” and decried frequent service disruptions.

Commuters should see the increase in June.

Photo: HKUrbex.

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Ashley Chan

Ashley is a Hong Kong-based multi-media journalist. She has a special interest in arts and culture. She has worked with the BBC and the Associated Press and holds a journalism degree from the University of Sheffield.