Central Station on Hong Kong Island. Photo: iStock
Central Station on Hong Kong Island. Photo: iStock

Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation announced it will raise fares by 3.14% from next month, despite the railway operator recording a 64% rise in net profit to more than HK$16.8 billion (US$2.14 billion) for 2017.

There was a mixed response from the public, with some saying the rise was acceptable and others saying it was not justified because of the poor quality of service offered.

The railway operator said it will offer fare concessions – a 3% rebate on trips starting from June 30 to January 1, 2019, and starting from Sunday, a HK$0.3 discount for passengers who switch from the MTR to a green minibus, or vice versa, according to the MTRC press release.

There will be no adjustment on prices for monthly and City Saver passes and the early bird discount promotion will be extended for one year.

Based on a 3.14% increase, an Octopus card user who takes an MTR train from Kowloon’s Kwun Tong to Kennedy Town on Hong Kong Island would have to pay HK$14.3 after the operator offers a 3% fare discount. The fare is now HK$14.2.

However, passengers who takes bus route 101 only pay HK$9.8, the Apple Daily reported.

The railway operator said concessions costing it some HK$500 million would mean passengers won’t even notice any increase for the rest of 2018 if they use Octopus cards or frequent traveller passes, Radio Television HK reported, adding that it hopes the public will appreciate that it has done its best to mitigate the increase.