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Government public transport fare concession scheme to include six more green minibus routes from April 1
     Six more green minibus routes will be included in the Government Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities from April 1 (Saturday).

     The six routes, serving Sha Tin, Yau Tsim Mong and Kowloon City Districts (see Annex 1), are run by an operator that has newly joined the Scheme. Altogether there will be 522 routes run by 159 operators (see Annex 2 for a full list of all routes) under the Scheme, covering around 99 per cent of all green minibus routes and operators respectively.

     All green minibuses participating in the Scheme will carry its logo (see attachment) on their windscreens, next to their side doors and atop their Octopus readers for ease of identification. The operators concerned will also help publicise the Scheme by putting up posters at green minibus termini.

     For the one remaining group (covering six green minibus routes), operated by one operator, the operator concerned is carrying out the necessary preparatory work so as to meet the accounting and auditing requirements for participating in the Scheme as soon as possible.

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Stephen Sui, pointed out that the Scheme has been very well received. "In the past six months (August 2016 to January 2017 figures), the average number of daily passenger trips has reached some 1.16 million, of which some 1.01 million trips are made by elderly people, and some 150 000 are made by eligible persons with disabilities.

     "The Scheme has been highly effective in encouraging the elderly and persons with disabilities to participate more in community activities and facilitating the building of a caring and inclusive society," Mr Sui said.
     The Government launched the Scheme in phases starting from June 28, 2012, covering the general Mass Transit Railway (MTR) lines, franchised bus routes operated by five franchised bus companies, ferry routes run by 13 ferry operators and most green minibus routes.

     With the Scheme's extension to green minibuses and the steady rise of Hong Kong's elderly population, the estimated government expenditure for reimbursement of the revenue forgone to the operators is around $1 billion and $1.2 billion in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.

     The Scheme allows elderly people aged 65 or above, as well as persons with 100 per cent disabilities aged below 65 receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) or Disability Allowance (DA), to travel on the MTR, the above-mentioned bus routes and ferry routes, and green minibuses carrying the logo at a fare of $2 per trip.

     To enjoy the concessionary fare, elderly persons can simply use the Elder Octopus or their Personalised Octopus, whereas eligible persons with disabilities shall use a Personalised Octopus with "Persons with Disabilities Status".

     Eligible persons with disabilities who have not yet obtained a Personalised Octopus with "Persons with Disabilities Status" may obtain application forms at the Customer Service Centres in designated MTR stations. As for eligible persons with disabilities who are new applicants of CSSA or DA, the Social Welfare Department will, upon approving their CSSA or DA applications, mail them the application form for the Personalised Octopus with "Persons with Disabilities Status".

     The Scheme is not applicable to fares paid in cash. When the original fare of a journey is below $2, the beneficiaries will only need to pay the original fare.

     Details of the Scheme are available on the Labour and Welfare Bureau's website (www.lwb.gov.hk/fare_concession/index_e.html). For enquiries, please call 1823.
Ends/Thursday, March 30, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:00
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