DAB Legislative Councillors Ben CHAN, Wilson OR and Elizabeth QUAT met with the Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank CHAN on Mar 13th and proposed the MTRC to reduce fares by 10%.
The MTRC will base on the Nominal Wage Index of the transportation section going to be announced by the Census and Statistics Department in late March to activate the direct-drive formula. Ben CHAN said that “the public expects the fares adjustment to trend downward negative, but the mechanism is adjusted on a yearly basis and thus the results lags behind and fails to reflect the economy hard-hit due to the anti-extradition bill protests and epidemic. Therefore, Ben CHAN requested the MTRC to shoulder its societal responsibility by reducing fares by 10% across the board.
Ben CHAN explained that MTR fares have risen close to 30% in the past ten years. The proposed 10% reduction is simply a return to the 2015 fare level. He emphasized that “even though in February the MTRC promised to freeze this year fare, the public has been disappointed to the quality of service provided by the MTRC. A significant fare reduction will be far more acceptable by the public.”
Ben CHAN also discussed the problem of MTR’s fare structure with Frank Chan in the meeting. The current fare discrepancy between the East Rail and West Rail lines means that commuters in the western New Territories have to pay expensive fares. The DAB urges the government to review the current fare structure and unify the calculation method of all fares on every line to avoid the public feeling unfair and not reasonable. Elizabeth QUAT emphasized that the MTRC should seize the opportunity of the opening of the full Tuen Ma Line and the railway development strategy to review the whole fare system.
Wilson OR said that they have also exchanged views on the Rail-plus-Property development model and expressed concern about considerable property management remuneration. Wilson has urged the government to review the relevant policies.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor Ben Chan (9274 7035)