Star Ferry seeks to double its fares - RTHK
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Star Ferry seeks to double its fares

2022-11-21 HKT 16:39
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  • Star Ferry seeks to double its fares
Star Ferry has applied to double its fares as it struggles to operate its loss-making cross-harbour services.

The ferry operator has proposed increasing its adult fare to HK$6.4 for weekday trips on the upper deck of services between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, and Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai.

Lower deck fares, meanwhile, could go up to HK$5.2 on weekdays, a Legco document shows.

The cost of trips on weekends and public holidays would be raised to HK$7.2 for seats on the lower deck and HK$8.4 for the upper deck, if the proposal gets the green light.

Star Ferry has also asked for permission to scrap its free rides for the elderly and instead introduce government-subsidised HK$2 trips.

The government said Star Ferry has been recording losses since 2018, as patronage plummeted in recent years on the combined effects of an expanding railway network, change in commuter habits and the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It has been relying on debt to maintain its franchised services, and hence is in an urgent need to adjust its fares in order to improve its financial viability," the government said in the document to Legco detailing Star Ferry's application.

But the government also noted that the proposed rate of fare increase is not low.

It is seeking lawmakers' views on the application and has pledged to take into account different factors, including public opinion, before making a decision.