MRT: Hong Kong – cheaper, better, faster?


When compared to Hong Kong, the travel subsidy seems to be poorer in Singapore.

I refer to the article “Billion-dollar boost for HK’s emerging industries” (Straits Times, Oct 12).


Users of the Octopus card – which is similar to Singapore’s EZ Link card – will get subsidies up to HK$300 (S$52) if they spend more than HK$400 a month. The travel subsidy applies to all forms of public transport.”

In this connection, arguably, public transport may be one of the most basic and pressing needs of people with disabilities – which may also alleviate their financial strain.

The current concessions are

  • “Enjoy 25% discount off adult fares.
  • No additional cost for distance travelled beyond 7.2km.
  • Option to purchase Monthly Concession Pass with unlimited bus and train rides at $60 per month”

25% discount one of the lowest in the world?

I understand that people with disabilities get free public transport in places like Scotland and Seoul, South Korea.

Our 25 per cent discount may be one of the lowest in the developed and developing countries – countries like Taiwan have 50% discounts and Hong Kong only charge HK$2 (35 Singapore cents) per trip.

Hong Kong monthly pass from S$60+? 

In Hong Kong, I understand that an adult can pay just HKD360 (S$62) to 565 (S$98) for a monthly pass extra for unlimited travel on designated lines plus a 25% discount on other travel. So, people in Hong Kong can pay as little as S$62, especially for the poor who can try to limit their travel to within the designated lines.

This is about 50% cheaper than Singapore’s monthly unlimited travel pass which cost $120, and arguably cheaper than what an average Singaporean spends on public transport.

Cheaper fares?

Also, the MTR adult single trip fare starts from HKD4 (S$0.69 ) compared to S$0.79 in Singapore’s MRT, and bus fares from HKD2 (S$0.35) to Singapore’s S$0.79.

And of course the Hong Kong MTR does not break down as often and as long as Singapore’s MRT!

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.