PETALING JAYA: Passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and KLIA2 are subsidising the operations of the Express Rail Link (ERL) with the hike in ticket prices come Jan 1. "The sad thing is that even people not using the ERL are subsidising its operations and the operator feels that it is justified in increasing the fare from RM35 to RM55," said an official close to the discussions. He agreed that the operator had the right to increase the fare under the agreement it had signed with the government, adding that ERL had not increased its fare for the last 14 years. The officer pointed out that every passenger, whether domestic or international, contributes to the coffers of ERL. "Whether or not a passenger to KLIA or KLIA2 uses the ERL service they still pay airport taxes from which RM6 (international) and RM3 (domestic) goes directly to ERL," he said, adding that passengers using the airports had no choice. He said based on 10,000 people travelling to KLIA/klia2 on a daily basis, ERL collects an estimated RM350,000 daily and on a yearly basis it will be about RM128 million. ERL said in a statement recently that the fare revision was in accordance with the concession agreement which had been approved by the government. It said although the approved fare was RM64 for KLIA Ekspress, they were offering a discounted rate of RM55. It added that further discounts were available when customers purchase tickets online, on the ERL kiosks as well as with selected credit cards.