Cross-harbor fares to rise as KMB follows suit

Kowloon Motor Bus yesterday announced that fares for its jointly-operated routes will go up by 3.2 percent starting from Sunday.

The bump-up came in the wake of approval by authorities in March for phased fare hikes of up to 12 percent for four bus companies.

For Citybus and New World First Bus, fares went up soon after that, April 4, by 8.5 percent. The next phase will see 3.2 percent added on January 2.

For its part, KMB said it will adjust fares for 51 routes it operates with Citybus and New World First Bus, and they will take effect from 2.30am Sunday. That will see some cross-harbor commuters pay one to eight cents more.

According to KMB's new fare table, route 619 servicing Shun Lee and Central will cost commuters HK$11.60, up from HK$11.30, while 182, running between Yu Chui Court and Central, will cost HK$18.80, up from HK$18.40 now.

Racecourse routes 101R and 102R, which run only on race days, traveling between Happy Valley Racecourse and Kwun Tong and Mei Foo will see the highest hikes, rising to HK$16.30 from HK$15.50.

Some overnight cross-harbor routes, including N170 traveling between Wah Fu (Central) and Sha Tin Central, will edge up to HK$28.10 from HK$28.

KMB's monthly pass will remain unchanged at HK$780, with the company saying pass holders can claim a monthly subsidy of HK$126.70.

Although authorities had extended the monthly threshold to cover a third of monthly public transport expenses in excess of HK$200, that arrangement ends on Thursday. The HK$500 monthly subsidy cap will also end the same day, reverting to HK$400.

Adam Leishman, the head of the holding company of Citybus and New World First Bus, has said the two firms were running HK$25 million into the red.

Leishman said the companies had no plans to apply for a new round of fare hikes but were hoping for subsidies.