Editorial : Difference in ticketing system is a test to be faced in the course of integration

【明報專訊】THE Hong Kong section of the Express Rail Link (XRL) is expected to go into operation in September, and the ticketing arrangements have been disclosed. The MTR will be selling cross-border tickets for trips between Hong Kong and 18 destinations on the mainland. However, to go to other cities on the mainland, passengers will have to pay a service fee to an agent or purchase the ticket at mainland stations. To some extent this arrangement reflects that the interactions and integration between Hong Kong and the mainland will inevitably be affected by the differences in the systems and the ways things are run in the two regions. The central government has recently mentioned mutual respect, putting oneself in the other's shoes, respecting two systems, and letting Hong Kong people have a sense of gain when talking about exchange and cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland. The ticketing arrangement of the XRL is an example of the many difficulties faced in the course of integration. Concerned authorities in both regions should do their best to remove restrictions and reduce barriers by adhering to the principle of mutual benefit and reciprocity.