KMB and LWB Apply for Fare Increase
The Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (1933) Ltd. (“KMB”) and Long Win Bus Company (“LWB”) have applied to the Transport Department today (7 September 2018) to seek a fare increase for all the bus routes under their operation. The proposed fare increase rate is 8.5%. The last fare adjustment approved by the Government for KMB and LWB took place in 2014 and 2011 respectively.
KMB and LWB applied for the fare adjustment with a view to alleviating the pressure from increasing operating costs. Fuel costs and staff costs together account for 70% and 60% of the total operating costs of KMB and LWB respectively. Since 2015, international fuel prices have rebounded to a high level with a cumulative increase of more than 26%, while staff wages have seen a cumulative increase of more than 20% due to the tight local labour market. A number of measures to upgrade staff welfare and benefits have also been implemented. The expanding rail network and worsening traffic congestion have added to a challenging operating environment.
Despite a highly difficult operating environment, KMB and LWB remain committed to enhancing their services, investing over HK$4 billion in the last three years to upgrade their fleets by introducing over 1,500 new buses. The companies will continue to recruit more bus captains and frontline staff, utilise technology to enhance bus safety facilities, upgrade bus termini and widen the application of information technology.
KMB and LWB reiterate that the companies are under pressure due to increased operating costs and a number of other factors. It is hoped that the fare adjustment will help to sustain the financial health of the companies and enable them to continue to provide a proper and efficient service to the general public.