Shuttle operators in protest talks

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 April, 2004, 12:00am

Taxi and minibus operators will meet Guangdong provincial officials in Guangzhou today to protest against plans for new cross-border bus services.

The visit comes after officials from Guangdong and Hong Kong reportedly agreed to allow a number of cross-border buses to switch to operating their services between the Huanggang checkpoint in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The chairman of the Taxi and Public Light Bus Concern Group, Lai Ming-hung, said plans for the new service broached by officials were not acceptable.

Yellow Bus runs the only franchised shuttle service between San Tin and Lok Ma Chau, on the Hong Kong side, and Huanggang.

For journeys into Hong Kong, passengers must transfer to taxis or minibuses at Lok Ma Chau.

Mr Lai said business had already been badly hit by cross-border buses dropping some passengers at the Huanggang checkpoint and then picking up Hong Kong-bound passengers there.

'Their actions have taken away up to 90 per cent of the business of our taxi and minibus services operating from the Huanggang checkpoint,' he said. 'If the Huanggang-Hong Kong bus service goes ahead, it will not only wipe out the interchange function of our taxis and minibuses but may also take away the business of the train and Huanggang-Lok Ma Chau shuttle services.'

The Transport Department said it had no say over the pick-up points of cross-border buses on the mainland. But it promised to continue talks with mainland authorities on strengthening control over Hong Kong to Shenzhen services.