Thanks to the new MTR Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme, Hongkongers who spend more than $400 on public transport expenses each month can get a little something back.
The new scheme came as a response to help relieve the relatively high public transport expenses, especially for those who live far from their workplaces. The monthly subsidy is 25 percent of the amount you spend after going over $400. For instance, if you spend $500 on public transport – meaning you’ve paid $100 more than the minimum required – you’ll get $25 back for that particular month. You can get up to a maximum of $300 per month. Still confused? You can easily check your Octopus summary and estimated subsidy amount with the Octopus app or by entering your Octopus number on this website.
The great thing about this scheme is that no applications are required at all. The subsidy for each month is calculated from your transport expenses recorded on your Octopus card, whether you’re taking the MTR, bus, tram and ferry. From the 16th to the end of every month, you can collect the subsidy for the previous month by simply tapping your Octopus card at designated Subsidy Collection Points. These include the unmissable blue machines that can be found at every MTR station, and at all 7-Eleven, Circle K, and Wellcome supermarkets across town. The fare will be credited back to your card immediately.
For other transport tickets, like the Airport Express roundtrip or monthly passes for trams and ferries, you can register them at the Designated Transport Ticket Self-registration Point, or the green machine next to the subsidy collection points within 30 days from the date of purchase and tap your Octopus cards to collect your subsidy.
So the main takeaway here is that you really need an Octopus card if you don’t have one already, and while it’s unlikely that you’ll get a lot of moolah back each month, it’s always nice to get some extra dollars.