14 June 2000
KCRC will increase East Rail surcharge to curb fare evasion
 
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) announced today that in order to curb fare evasion, the East Rail surcharge will be revised with effect from 1 August 2000.The surcharge for adults will be increased from HK$160 to HK$500, and the surcharge for children and senior citizens will be increased from HK$80 to HK$250.
The Legislative Council passed the amendments to the KCRC By-laws today.As stipulated in the amendments, the maximum surcharge can reach HK$1,650, which is fifty times the highest standard class single journey fare (fare from Hung Hom to Lo Wu is $33).With the increase in surcharge, the penalty for fare evaders will be in line with the practice of the MTR Corporation.
"While stepping up ticket inspection is an effective means to curb fare evasion, the cost involved will be very high in the long run.Based on our own experience and the experience of MTR Corporation, an increase in surcharge will serve as a strong deterrent and is the most cost-effective way in curbing fare evasion," said Mr Anthony Yan, Customer Services Manager of KCR East Rail.
"To regulate the passenger flow at Lo Wu and to ensure passengers' safety, passengers must travel with a valid ticket to Lo Wu when the Lo Wu ticket quota system is implemented during the long holidays.There have been cases that passengers preferred paying a surcharge to queuing for a quota.This however has major implications on crowd control at Lo Wu.It is believed that the increased surcharge will deter passengers from going against the rule, which will help avoid overcrowding at Lo Wu Station during peak periods," Mr Yan added.
KCRC has also consulted the East Rail Passenger Liaison Group members in its meeting in May about the need to increase surcharge.Members were of the view that the current level of surcharge was too low to have the necessary deterrent effect.They urged us to raise the surcharge substantially in order to safeguard the interest of passengers who pay the appropriate fare.
Starting from July, East Rail will organise another extensive education and publicity campaign to remind passengers to use the right tickets for travel.Apart from the display of posters, banners and distribution of booklets and handbills at all East Rail stations, we will also organise a quiz and talks for the community centers and schools along East Rail to reinforce the importance of being a law-abiding passenger.
KCRC By-laws on East Rail surcharge were first introduced in 1991 for the purpose to protect the interests of appropriate fare-paying passengers.A surcharge will be levied on passengers under the following conditions:
1. Adults or students aged 12 to 64 travelling with a concessionary ticket which is only for children and the elderly.
2. Children aged 3 or above travelling without a ticket.
3. Passengers travelling in the First Class without a valid First Class ticket.
4. Passengers travelling without a valid ticket or without ticket.
5. Passengers travelling with a time-expired ticket. (Tickets are only valid for 90 minutes after entry).
6. Passengers travelling to Lo Wu without following the station instructions to obtain a quota when Lo Wu Ticket Quota System is implemented.
In addition to the amendments to the KCRC By-laws under the KCRC Ordinance, the Legislative Council also passed today the KCRC (Permitted Activity) (Consolidation) (Amendment) Order 2000, which enables the Corporation to provide a more comprehensive freight service.