MTR to freeze fares, slash rents amid virus outbreak - RTHK
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MTR to freeze fares, slash rents amid virus outbreak

2020-02-20 HKT 18:33
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  • The MTR says there will be no fare increases this year as it wants to help people out during this difficult time. File photo: RTHK
    The MTR says there will be no fare increases this year as it wants to help people out during this difficult time. File photo: RTHK
The MTR Corporation announced on Thursday that fares won't go up for the rest of the year for those using Octopus cards, and many tenants at its stations and malls will have their rents cut temporarily, to “support the community during difficult times”.

Jacob Kam, CEO of the rail operator, said although its revenue has been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the corporation can see the pressure different sectors of society are facing, and that some of the MTR's tenants are struggling to stay afloat.

"We will ensure passengers do not have to face any effective fare changes this year, and the February and March rental of our small to medium tenants will be reduced by half," he said in a statement.

He added: "Hong Kong is our home. Members of the public are like our family and when they are in need, we do our best to offer them helping hands."

Train fares had been expected to go up by 3.3 percent in May when a special rebate ends, while another increase was possible at the end of June.

The corporation said the tenants of small and medium-sized stores at all MTR stations and its 13 shopping malls will enjoy the half-price rents for two months, and support for large corporate tenants would be considered on an individual basis.

Travel agencies had earlier demanded full rent waivers for February and March, and half waivers for April and May.