Hong Kong’s MTR fares will soon see a 2.3 per cent climb, marking the first increase in four years.

mtr covid reopening
Commuters on an East Rail Line train. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

The MTR Corporation, Hong Kong’s only train services provider, announced the hike on Tuesday under a new rate adjustment mechanism that takes into account the conglomerate’s property development profits.

As a result of the increase, “around 90% of fares are expected to have an upward adjustment of 40 cents or less this year, suitably balancing the public’s affordability and the Corporation’s ability to continue to provide high quality, reliable and efficient railway services to Hong Kong passengers,” said Jeny Yeung, the company’s Transport Services Director, in a statement.

MTR fare adjustments typically come into effect in June.

Last year, the railway giant – the sole shareholder of which is the Hong Kong government – recorded a net profit of HK$10.4 billion from property development, an increase of 12 per cent from 2021.

MTR Tai Wai Station
Tai Wai Station in morning peak hours on recent weekdays. Photo: MTR Corporation.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said last week that authorities had heard “loud and clear” from the public that the company has profited significantly from its real estate projects.

“That is why we would like to link the Hong Kong property development profit to the formula,” Lam, announcing the new calculation mechanism, said.

The Corporation froze fares in 2020 and last year, and reduced them by 1.85 per cent in 2021. It last raised ticket prices in 2019, by 3.3 per cent.

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Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.