Taxi service for Ma Wan
Taxis will be allowed to enter and leave Ma Wan island for the first time from July and collect the HK$30 Lantau Link toll from passengers.
But their access, announced by the government yesterday, will be limited to between 11pm and 7am.
The move was welcomed by a district councillor for the area, although he expressed disappointment at the limitation on hours.
A taxi unionist gave it a cool response, saying he did not think drivers would gain much extra business from the island's 10,000 residents.
The Executive Council yesterday approved amendments to traffic regulations that will allow taxi drivers to collect from passengers the HK$30 Lantau Link toll paid when entering Ma Wan to pick up a passenger. Lawmakers will discuss the amendments on June 4 and the amendments will be implemented on July 3.
Tsuen Wan district councillor Sumly Chan Yuen-sum said the plan had been discussed for a long time.
'We finally got it. We are happy about it,' he said, although he was disappointed with the time limits.
At present, residents of the island, declared vehicle-free when developed in the mid-1990s, have to use ferries to Central or shuttle buses to Tsing Yi and Tsuen Wan.
Kwok Chi-piu, chairman of the Urban Taxi Drivers' Association Joint Committee, said: 'I do not think there will be much business even if Ma Wan is opened to taxis. And most of the time, a taxi driver will have no passenger on board for a return ride.'