TAC discusses fare increase applications from franchised bus operators and outcome of MTR Fare Adjustment Mechanism review

The following is issued on behalf of the Transport Advisory Committee:
     The Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) discussed today (May 9) the fare increase applications from franchised bus operators and the outcome of the review of the Fare Adjustment Mechanism (FAM) of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL).
     The TAC Chairman, Professor Stephen Cheung, said that in deliberating on the fare increase applications from the five franchised bus operators in respect of six franchises, the TAC had considered and balanced the basket of factors under the Fare Adjustment Arrangement for franchised buses. These factors include public acceptability and affordability, service performance of the bus operators, the past and forecast financial performance of the operators, as well as a supportable fare increase rate computed for reference through a formula taking into account the changes in the Composite Consumer Price Index and the wage index.
     Professor Cheung said, "In accordance with the established practice, the TAC will submit its advice to the Government for consideration by the Chief Executive in Council."
     Members were also briefed by the Government and the MTRCL on the outcome of the review of the FAM. Members noted that the enhanced FAM would take effect from June this year.
     "Members welcome the enhanced FAM, which may better respond to public concern about the relationship between the fare adjustments and the MTRCL's profitability and service performance, while still respecting the financial prudence required for the MTRCL to cope with the increasing expenses on maintenance and asset renewal. In particular, the Hong Kong property development profit-linked Productivity Factor and the special fare reduction of 1.2 per cent this year will lower the MTR fare base and have a compound effect on future fares, benefitting all passengers in the long run," Professor Cheung said.
     "Members also noted that taking into account the FAM review package, the MTR fare adjustment rate of 2023 would be lowered by some 60 per cent to 2.3 per cent, thus reducing the burden on passengers at a time when the economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic."

Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:40