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Subsidy to benefit 2m people

October 12, 2017

Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan says two million people will benefit from the non-means-tested Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme.


Elaborating on the 2017 Policy Address initiatives at a press conference today, Mr Chan said the Government will earmark about $2 billion for the scheme every year. 


Under the scheme, the Government will subsidise commuters 25% for extra public transport expenses above the level of $400 a month, with a cap of $300.


Mr Chan said no application is required for the scheme, and commuters using Octopus cards and monthly and daily passes will get the monthly fare rebates.   


They need to install the Octopus phone app or tap their cards on designated Octopus processors at MTR stations or Octopus Service Points to get the monthly rebates, he added.


Mr Chan said the Government aims to apply for funding from the Legislative Council within the coming three months so the scheme can be launched within a year of its approval.


Also attending the press conference, Secretary for Development Michael Wong said though land will be made available in the near-to-long term to build 600,000 residential units, this is still 400,000 short of the Government's target.


A total of 1,200 hectares of land is needed to address the shortfall, and build public spaces and leisure facilities, he added.


On the revitalisation of industrial buildings to boost land supply, Mr Wong said the Government will study relaxing restrictions on the use of lower floors of industrial buildings without compromising fire and building safety requirements, and review the policy which requires landlords to obtain at least 80% ownership of the entire building before applying for its sale or redevelopment.


The Policy Address also proposed  to subsidise owners of old buildings to maintain building safety. Mr Wong said the initiative could benefit about 2,500 buildings which are 50-years-old or above.

The Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address