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Transport fare to be subsidised

October 11, 2017

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has unveiled a plan to launch a non-means-tested Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme to help lessen the financial burden of long-distance commuters.


Delivering her 2017 Policy Address today, Mrs Lam said the scheme - simple and easy to understand - will benefit commuters whose monthly public transport expenses exceed a specified level. 


She said the Government plans to set the line at $400 in the monthly expenditure on public transport, with the Government providing a subsidy amounting to 25% of the actual expenses in excess of this level, subject to a cap of $300 a month. 


The scheme will cover the fares of MTR, franchised buses, green minibuses, ferries and trams. No application is required and over two million commuters will benefit from the scheme, she added. 


The Government aims to launch the scheme within one year after obtaining funding approval from the Legislative Council.


Other measures outlined in the Policy Address to boost quality of public transport services are franchised taxis with “online-hailing” features, long-haul and mid-sized single-deck bus services so passengers can have more public transport choices. 


On the development of transport infrastructure, the Government is pressing ahead with a number of major road projects, with the Central-Wanchai Bypass and the Island Eastern Corridor Link scheduled to open in end-2018 or early 2019, and the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel in 2021.


On rail services, she said the Government plans to consult the public on the railway schemes of Tuen Mun South Extension and the Northern Link (and Kwu Tung Station) next year.


Meanwhile, a $3-billion Operation Building Bright 2.0 and a $2-billion subsidy scheme for fire safety works are expected to launch in the second half of 2018 to tackle the safety problem of old buildings.


The Government will, with $1 billion earmarked, establish a Countryside Conservation Office to co-ordinate conservation projects that promote sustainable development of remote countryside.

The Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address