Fares increase for Star Ferry services, senior citizen concession scheme canceled in April while 5 bus operators seek bus fares increase

A fare increase application was submitted by five bus operators in the city.

KMB and Long Win Bus seek a 9.5 percent and 8.5 percent fare hike while Citybus and New World First Bus look for a HK$2 fare increase for most of their routes.

The Transport and Logistics Bureau on March 14 revealed details of the fare increase application filed last year where the firms sought an increase of 10 to 20 percent.

CityBus seeks a fare increase of 23 percent on its regular and overnight services along with a 50 percent increase on its airbus services.

As for the New Lantao Bus, it seeks a fare increase of 9.8 percent.

A government spokesperson said on March 15 that the government is processing the applications submitted by the five franchised bus operators.

It will also exercise due diligence and will review the applications so to minimize the impact on people’s livelihoods while maintaining the financial sustainability of the bus operators.

“The five franchised bus operators submitted fare increases applications for the six bus franchises under them to the Government between January and September last year,” said the spokesperson.

“As bus services are closely related to people’s livelihoods, the Government will handle the fare increase applications in a prudent manner as we have public acceptability and affordability, as well as the quality and quantity of bus services provided, etc. The Government will play its gatekeeper role and will recommend lowering the rate of increase or even reject the application if the proposed rate of increase of an individual application is considered to be excessive after our assessment.”

Meanwhile, starting in April, fares for the Star Ferry will be higher as the ferry operator has been allowed to increase their prices by up to HK$2.3 for their routes between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central or Wan Chai in Hong Kong.

Moreover, the ferry operator will cancel the existing senior citizen concession scheme.

The fare increases are due to the ferry operator’s incurring losses since 2018.

Under the new fare structure, adult passengers traveling on the upper deck of the Tsim Sha Tsui to Central will now pay HK$5 per trip.

As for those who choose the lower deck, they will have to pay HK$4.

On weekends and public holidays, the fares will be HK$6.5 for the upper deck and HK$5.6 for the lower deck.

For the Tsim Sha Tsui to Wan Chai route, the fares will be HK$5 on weekdays and HK$6.5 on the weekends and public holidays.

Monthly passes for the Star Ferry service will be HK$190.

 MTR Corporation Limited also applied for fare increases.