The MTR Corporation has announced that a general fare rise of 2.65 percent will be effective from June 26. A new offer for designated Saturdays was announced alongside the new fares.

The MTRC said that, according to the Fare Adjustment Mechanism, 78 percent of fares will be adjusted upwards by 30 cents or less, among which 4 percent of fares will remain unchanged. The adjustment on all domestic trips is within 50 cents, it said.

with a passenger of four persons standing per square metre
Photo: Wikicommons.

Border crossing journeys will see the highest increase. For instance, fares from Sha Tin to Lo Wu will rise from HK$29.4 to HK$30.2.
The MTRC also announced that it will spend over HK$500 million on fare promotion packages.

MTRC Commercial Director Jeny Yeung said the rise will generate an additional HK$400 million in revenue, and that the fare promotion package was slightly larger than last year’s. She added that the additional revenue will be rebated to passengers, Apple Daily reported.

Yeung said that she noted opinions that the MTRC should use promotional offer funds to freeze fares, and said such views would be considered when reviewing the mechanism. The mechanism was last reviewed in 2013.

New Saturday ride offer

A new fare promotion, “Designated Saturday Offer”, will be introduced in November. On the first Saturday of the month, for five months starting from November, Adult Octopus holders traveling on the system will enjoy concessionary fares equal to Child Octopus fares. Concessionary Octopus holders will enjoy a flat fare of HK$1.

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said he was disappointed with the fare rise, and said that the promotions were “fake”. He added that the MTRC was only trying to attract more passengers, especially on Saturdays when fewer people use the MTR.

Kwok said the government must set up a fare stability fund to stop the fares from rising.

MTR Corporation
MTRC Commercial Director Jeny Yeung (middle). Photo: MTRC.

Changes to current promotions

  • All MTR Fare Saver machines across Hong Kong will offer a HK$2 discount starting from July 1. Discount offers at 15 Fare Saver kiosks will be enhanced from HK$1 to HK$2.
  • A “10% Same-Day Second-Trip Discount” will be rolled out between June 26 and October 31. The MTRC said it will use part of the HK$186 million which the Corporation set aside under the “Profit–related Fare Concession Scheme” and the “Service Performance Arrangement”.  The promotion was shorter than ones in the past – which lasted five months – as last year’s profits took a hit so the amount used was smaller.
  • The MTRC said that the “Early Bird Discount Promotion” will be extended for one year until May 31 next year.
  • Both the “MTR City Saver” and the “Monthly Pass Extra” promotions will be extended until June 30 next year.
  • Passengers will also receive a HK$50 MTR Shops Cash Coupon for each purchase of any July or August “Monthly Pass Extra” in 2016 or “MTR City Saver” during these two months. However, the price of the “MTR City Saver” and “Monthly Pass Extra” will also be increased by HK$10 to HK$15.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.