The MTR's new Kowloon Southern Link has hit a red light over fares, with commuters asking why it is more expensive to travel a shorter distance from Hung Hom.
Traveling from Hung Hom to the new Austin Station on the West Rail Line costs HK$5, against HK$4.30 from Hung Hom to Nam Cheong - two stops further on.
An MTR spokeswoman said that the company has retained all the previous fares for getting to and from the Hung Hom and West Rail Line stations, but had to introduce a new one for Austin Station.
As the new stop is very close to Kowloon station, the HK$5 fare to get there from Hung Hom has been used as a benchmark for the Hung Hom to Austin fare.
Commuters hoping for a cheaper ride will have to wait for the next fare review.
Some commuters also said the new HK$470 Tuen Mun to Hung Hom monthly pass is inconvenient as it is a magnetic ticket not programmed into the Octopus card. The cost is also HK$70 higher than the old Tuen Mun to Nam Cheong pass, they complained.
On arriving at Hung Hom, monthly pass holders will need to exit the station using their ticket and re-enter with their Octopus card if they want to travel via the East Rail Line.
There are about 40,000 Tuen Mun to Nam Cheong monthly pass holders. As of 4pm yesterday, 4,000 people had switched to the new September pass, which they can use for the rest of August as well.
A handful were still unaware that the East Rail Line terminus had changed and had to be asked by MTR staff to get off the train.
Some passengers feel there should be more signs to indicate the changes. "Right now it's still a little messy. During rush hour the staff were swamped with people asking questions," one commuter said.
However, operations at Hung Hom station yesterday seemed smoother than on Sunday, as the frequency of trains was increased. Most commuters were able to interchange between the East and West Rail within a few minutes.
It is now also cheaper to travel monthly from Tin Shui Wai to Hung Hom as the monthly bus fare comes to HK$726, against the HK$470 monthly MTR fare from Tuen Mun to Hung Hom.
Taking the MTR also shaves 10 minutes off travel time, commuters said.