The Chief Executive approved requests from five of Hong Kong’s franchised bus firms to increase fares, and the hikes will come into effect on June 18.
The five operators – Long Win Bus, Kowloon Motor Bus, New Lantao Bus, Citybus, and New World First Bus – will raise fares by up to 7%, which means that, “about 87% of passengers are expected to pay no more than HK$0.5 extra per trip and almost all passengers are expected to pay no more than HK$1 extra per trip,” according to a government press release.
Between January and September 2022, the five firms submitted applications to the Executive Council for fare hikes of 8.5%-50%. However, the actual fares will increase by 3.9%-7%, and are offset by the Toll Exemption Funds set up by each bus firm to accumulate government-subsidised tunnel fees.
Passengers using New Lantao Bus will face the highest fare hike of 7%, while North Lantau- and airport-bound Citybus passengers see a price rise of 4.2%.
Citybus and New World First Bus, which will merge into a single company called Citybus Limited in July, applied for a flat fare increase of HK$2 and were approved for a 4.9% rise in fares.
New World First Bus and Citybus passengers on Hong Kong Island and the Cross-Harbour bus network will pay 4.9% more for their rides, while Kowloon Motor Bus trips will increase by 3.9%. Fares on Long Win Bus services will increase by 4.2%.
The bus fare increases come after several other Hong Kong public transportation operators hiked prices this year. In March, MTR revealed it will raise fares by 2.3%, making it the first time the rail corporation announced a hike in four years.
Higher Star Ferry fares on all tickets came into effect in April this year on the operator’s Central-Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui routes. In addition, three other ferry firms – Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Limited, Sun Ferry, and Fortune Ferry – applied for passenger fare increases across several of their routes.
Header image credits: LN9267 via WikiCommons