The cost of a trip on the Airport Express is set to take off after Hong Kong’s rail operator proposed raising fares by 10.3 per cent – the line’s first increase since it opened 19 years ago.
The MTR Corporation cited a need to cover rising operating costs and maintain quality.
The rise, which could take effect by June, would see the price when using an Octopus card reach HK$110 for a trip from Central to the airport on Lantau Island.
A journey from Kowloon station to the airport would cost HK$100 – an 11.1 per cent rise from the current HK$90 fare.
Taking into account all journeys between stations along the line, the increases in adult Octopus fares would be between HK$5 and HK$10, according to a paper the corporation submitted to the Legislative Council’s transport panel on Tuesday. Trains on the line also stop at Tsing Yi and AsiaWorld-Expo.
Adult fares for passengers buying a paper ticket for a trip between in-town stations and the airport would rise by between HK$10 and HK$15, while fares between the airport and AsiaWorld-Expo would go up by 50 cents for Octopus users and HK$1 for ticket buyers.
Round-trip adult tickets with extended validity would get HK$15 to HK$30 pricier, while the cost of an AsiaWorld-Expo same-day return ticket would go up by between HK$5 and HK$8. Other fare concessions and airport worker fares will remain.
Quentin Cheng Hin-kei, spokesman for the Public Transport Research Team, a local transport concern group, said he worried that the fare rises would drive more passengers to use other modes of transport like buses or taxis, causing traffic jams.