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New Government Subsidy Scheme Helps Locals Save on Travel Costs

By Jenny Leung 7 January 2019
From a ferry ride across the harbour to a quick hop on the MTR, public transport plays a huge part in our everyday lives here in Hong Kong – and the money we spend on topping up our Octopus cards definitely reflects that. If daily commuting costs are getting you down, then you'll be happy to hear that on January 1, the Transportation Department officially launched its brand new Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme to help relieve the burden of transportation costs. Read on to find out how you can save up to $300 under this new scheme.

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Fare Payment Coverage

Members of the public whose monthly transport expenses exceed a total of $400 will be eligible to apply for the scheme. Subject to a maximum of $300 per month, commuters will be provided with a subsidy amounting to 25 percent of the total travel cost that exceeds $400. All fares paid by an Octopus card on public transport services that are under the scheme will be covered, as well as any expenses on designated transport tickets such as monthly or day passes. There is no need for any pre-registration for Octopus transport expenses, but for payments in cash, a quick and simple registration process will be required.

Public Transport Services Coverage

The subsidy covers a wide range of public transport services including the MTR, buses, minibuses, ferries, trams, and other designated residents’ and employees’ service buses previously approved by the Transport Department. Click here for more details on the types of public transport where the scheme is applicable.

Subsidy Collection

Starting from the 16th of every month, commuters can head to any one of the following locations below, tap their Octopus cards at the designated points, and the subsidy amount of the previous month will be automatically credited to the card. Don’t worry if you’re not in town though, as each monthly subsidy will have a valid collection period of up to three months. There are no age or income-level restrictions under the scheme, and as long as your public transport expenses are higher than $400 every month, you will be able to receive a subsidy amount of up to $300. If you want to know if you’re eligible, then head to the scheme’s official website, or call the scheme hotline on (+852) 2969 5500.
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Jenny Leung

Senior editor

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Jenny grew up with the best of both worlds. She loves just about anything to do with music and doesn’t shy away from belting out a tune or two when it comes to karaoke. If she’s not out and about exploring the city and practising her photography skills, she’s probably tucked up in bed with a book or glued to her laptop doing her online shopping.