Bus fare hikes explained

March 18, 2021

In approving the fare adjustment applications of the franchised bus operators, the Executive Council has taken into account a host of factors, including public affordability and acceptability, the Transport & Housing Bureau said today.


In response to media enquiries, the bureau said ExCo’s decision is to ensure the sound operation of normal bus services and minimise the impact on the livelihood of the operators’ employees, noting that all the franchised bus operators are facing severe financial difficulties in view of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and rising operating costs.


To help the franchised bus sector tide over this difficult time, the Government has implemented a series of relief measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund, including the Employment Support Scheme, fuel subsidies, and reimbursement of regular repair and maintenance costs and insurance premiums.


With the gradual cessation of these relief measures by the end of 2020, franchised bus operators are facing a financial cliff edge despite having already implemented measures to increase revenue and reduce expenditure, the bureau noted.


In adjusting the fares of individual routes, the Government has strived to minimise the impact on the public through applying the mitigation effect of the Franchised Bus Toll Exemption Fund, the bureau said.


The Government will further extend the expiry of the temporary special measure under the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme till December 31 and temporarily raise the monthly subsidy cap from $400 to $500 from April 1 to December 31 to further alleviate commuters' fare burdens, it added.

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