Frank Chan backs bus fare rises

In response to the fare increases for buses, Secretary for Transport & Housing Frank Chan today said extending the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme will help alleviate the pressure of transport expenses on citizens.   While speaking to reporters at the Legislative Council, Mr Chan explained that the relaxation of the monthly threshold under the scheme from $400 to $200 will be extended until end of this year and the monthly subsidy cap will be raised from $400 to $500.   “As far as the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme is concerned, we are offering a subsidy for Hong Kong people who are taking public transport, irrespective of whether they are taking buses, minibuses or other transport modes.   “For those who are taking public buses for their daily commute, they will be entitled to the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme’s sponsorship. This would alleviate their hardship or the pressure of transport expenses on them.   “Therefore, extending the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme in respect of the threshold and the ceiling of subsidy to the end of this year would certainly be helpful to all those who take public transport for their daily commute.”   Mr Chan also responded to a question on whether the move would lead other transport operators to raise fares.   “As far as our policy is concerned, it’s only for those public transport operators who have a genuine need for fare adjustment, then we would consider their applications.   “For example, if any bus company or any public transport operator is making reasonable profit, we would not consider its application for fare adjustment.”

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