Discovery Bay ferry service flawed, but buses even worse

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am

I agree with Thomas Won ('Discovery Bay ferries often late', March 21) that the ferry service does not always run smoothly and no one visibly shows accountability.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a few mornings when a couple of hundred passengers have had to walk from berth to berth at the pier for the 7am sailing while the operators decided which side we would depart from.

No announcements were made, and no staff members were available on these occasions.

However, I do not think that the ferry service is the crux of the problem. The major problems lie with the bus services, which are inadequate and shoddily run by the Discovery Bay Transit Services.

Every morning, the C4 from Greenvale Village arrives full at 6.35am. Normally 22 passengers are waiting to board for the ferry pier. We are crammed in, often with half a dozen or more people holding on to the rail at the front of the bus.

As a rule, passengers are not permitted on public transport to stand forward of the yellow line level with the driver's cab, but in Discovery Bay passengers are told to cram in and cling on in this area just behind the windscreen.

This also happens on the routes to both Sunny Bay and Tung Chung.

I have communicated with Amy Yung Wing-sheung (Islands district council member for Discovery Bay) on several occasions over the past two years on this overcrowding, and I know she has forwarded my concerns to the Transport Department - but still it continues.

Another very important concern is that the population of Discovery Bay continues to grow, and the infrastructure is not developing adequately to cope.

The bus terminus is now overcrowded to the point where safety is a real concern.

Plaza North has necessitated extra transport needs, and the terminus is packed with buses, making it quite dangerous for passengers to get to buses for boarding and alighting.

One of Ms Yung's statements following a previous survey on the transport services was that a 'user-friendly service' would be aimed for. What a great idea.

Discovery Bay Transit Services should tell us when this will be put into action.

Maybe if customer service was considered important, there would be less animosity between the company and the residents.

At the moment, many residents are of the opinion that the company is out for profit only, when, in a small enclave such as ours, it should not be difficult to listen to the customers and to provide a transportation service of the highest calibre that would match the high fares we are charged.

We live in hope.

Sandra Wyatt, Discovery Bay