PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 12:00am

What do you think of the Discovery Bay ferry plan?

HKR International Limited (HKRI) sent out a 'survey' giving residents four options for the 'revamp' of the ferry service.

There is no 'revamp' involved: this is all about reductions in service and increased fares. It is disappointing that City University agreed to administer this flawed survey.

HKRI has now selected one of the options based on the survey results proposing a significant service reduction and fare increase.

It claims this is what the residents want and that it has listened.

The 13 per cent survey response rate, high rate of invalid responses and the fact that the second-highest selection was clearly a protest vote for the near termination of the service suggests the residents felt that none of the options was acceptable.

Residents have no faith in the proposals put forward. The losses supposedly suffered by the ferry company have not been subject to any external scrutiny.

Questions of charges from other HKRI companies have not been addressed and no analysis has been undertaken of whether the options presented are the most appropriate, in particular whether vessel sales, a different mix of vessels and differential pricing for peak-hour trips could be adopted.

In addition, Discovery Bay Transportation Services Limited says that the Discovery Bay to Central ferry utilisation in the peak hours is currently 53 per cent. They then say that their old 300-seat ferries cannot be used, as 500-seat catamarans are required to cover the rush hour. This does not hold water as 300-seat ferries more than cover 53 per cent of 500 seats.

HKRI has mismanaged the ferry operations spectacularly, having invested in ferries with capacities way beyond requirements and leaving little fleet-management flexibility.

It also appears to be determined to go head to head with residents of Discovery Bay, refusing to enter into meaningful discussions.

Martin Wardle, Discovery Bay

What do you think of the row over taxi fares?

Let me see if I understand this.

Urban taxi drivers are angry with the new fare structure because they have seen their daily revenue drop by 30 per cent.

New Territories drivers are angry because they were not given the same deal as the urban taxi drivers.

I find this befuddling.

G. Marques, Lai Chi Kok