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LCQ19: Day pass and monthly pass concessionary schemes offered by the MTR Corporation Limited
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     Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 7):

Question:

     When this Council resumed the Second Reading debate on the Rail Merger Bill on June 6, 2007, the then Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works said that after the rail merger, the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") would maintain the East Rail Line Monthly Pass, West Rail Line Monthly Pass and West Rail Line Day Pass concessionary schemes until June this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a)  the respective monthly average numbers of passengers who benefited from the above three concessionary schemes since their launch; and

(b)  if MTRCL will extend the above concessionary schemes; if it will, of the details; if not, whether MTRCL will offer new concessions?

Reply:

President,

(a)  To tie in with the opening of West Rail (now known as West Rail Line) and Ma On Shan Rail (now known as Ma On Shan Line), pre-merger Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation introduced the West Rail and East Rail 'Monthly Passes' and West Rail 'Day Pass' promotion schemes to attract passengers to use the new rail service. Holders of the 'West Rail Line Monthly Pass' and 'East Rail Line Monthly Pass' can take unlimited rides on West Rail Line or East Rail Line respectively within the month of ticket issue. As for the passengers using 'West Rail Line Day Pass', they can enjoy unlimited rides on West Rail Line, Light Rail and designated MTR bus service on the day of purchase.  

     The average numbers of passengers using the Monthly Pass and Day Pass by individual rail line during January íV November 2008 are as follows:

'East Rail Monthly Pass'- about 37,300 monthly
'West Rail Monthly Pass'- about 46,300 monthly
'West Rail Day Pass'    - about 7,700 daily

(b)  According to the commitment made under the rail merger and effective from the day of merger on December 2, 2007, in addition to immediate fare reductions, MTRCL also extended its 'West Rail Line Monthly Pass','East Rail Line Monthly Pass' and the 'West Rail Line Day Pass' promotional schemes until June 2009.

     Following the rail merger, MTRCL will adjust its fares according to a fare adjustment mechanism which is transparent and based on objective indicators. The offer of promotional schemes and the details of the schemes are commercial decisions of MTRCL. MTRCL will consider providing suitable promotional schemes having regard to relevant factors including its operations, the market situation and the passenger demand. We understand that MTRCL will take into account the above factors when considering whether to extend the promotional schemes mentioned above.

     The Government will continue to encourage public transport operators, including railway corporation, to provide fare concessions taking into account their respective operations, to reduce the travel expenses of the public.

Ends/Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Issued at HKT 12:21

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