In case you haven’t noticed yet, the MTR has its way of attracting people walking far away from train stations to get a subway ride instead of taking alternative options such as the red and green minibuses, double decker buses or taxicabs. It’s the MTR Fare Saver discount machines. They are found on selected locations such as office buildings (one in CC Wu in Wan Chai) or pedestrian walkways (Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System) carefully measured to be a few hundred meters away from MTR stations (there’s no point placing them near MTR stations when everyone would prefer to take the train ride over buses, right?).

Fare discounts range from 1 HK dollar to 2 HK dollars. In a typical traveler’s terms, this is a significant percentage of the actual fare paid on a regular basis. For example, if I swipe my Octopus card at the Provident Centre in North Point / Fortress Hill I get a $2 discount on my next MTR journey. For example, if from North Point MTR I decide to go to Cityplaza via Taikoo Shing MTR station (2 stations apart), I will pay only HK$1.6 instead of HK$3.6 minimum fare. That’s even cheaper than a single ride at the Hongkong Tramways or Star Ferry. Similar to discount rates for interchange bus routes, MTR also targeted passengers of outlying islands like Mui Wo, Peng Chau, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan.

Close to 30 of these Fare Saver discount machines are deployed across the city.

There are different rules to follow for this offer:

1. Should be used only on adult Octopus cards; can’t be issued on concession or student ones (I guess?)

2. Should be used only on designated stations. As shown in the second photo, such Octopus cards must be swiped only by entering these stations. I don’t know why MTR have to restrict this; users should have the freedom to use it wherever they want to.

3. Should be used only on the day it is swiped on the Fare Saver machine.