Cross-district bus fares have been a major financial burden on residents who live in outlying suburbs. The MTR already has a fully implemented monthly pass program that reduces travel costs for a portion of long-distance commuters. Seeing as the bus companies have not had such a program so far, DAB Legislative Councilor Lau Kwok-Fan notes that the DAB has communicated the need for such a monthly pass program to the bus companies through multiple channels. “A monthly bus pass isn’t only the hope of every family, actually it is the hope of every district. The DAB has already mobilized District Councilors from all 18 Districts to hand in this proposal to each District Council time and time again, hoping that it will be taken to heart.”
Lau says that recently as the DAB has once again put pressure on the Transport and Housing Bureau for urgent action on this front, it is understood that the Transport and Housing Bureau has had a change of heart on the issue and therefore requested the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB) to submit a proposal for a monthly pass program. Reports show that the KMB will submit its proposal by May 5th. The main dividing point in the case is the monthly pass for both cross-channel and non-cross-channel buses and this requires two systems of monthly pass. The first beneficiaries of the program will be long-distance commuters which includes workers and students. After the proposal is submitted, there is hope that the program can be approved within two or three months, allowing commuters to use the KMB monthly pass by the end of this year.
Lau believes that the KMB monthly pass will especially benefit residents who live in districts far from the urban area such as North District or Yuen Long, as the pass will cut down on their commuting costs. He also hopes that after the bus companies implement a monthly pass program, they will continue to go one step further and eventually provide more different kinds of monthly passes or other fare subsidies in order that more ordinary residents can benefit from reduced commuting costs.
Note: Monthly passes for cross-channel buses can be used on ALL buses, while non-cross-channel monthly passes can only be used on buses that do NOT cross the harbour.
Contact: DAB Legislative Councilor Lau Kwok-Fan (Tel: 9782-7408)