• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:10pm
NewsHong Kong
TRANSPORT

DB residents on warpath over ferry fare rise

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 May, 2013, 7:55am
 

Discovery Bay residents yesterday protested against a 9.5 per cent ferry fare increase approved by the Transport Department against their objections.

About 50 people marched from Pier 3 in Central to the government headquarters at Tamar in the afternoon.

The rise means the one-way adult daytime fare will rise from HK$33.80 to HK$37, while child and elderly one-way tickets will go from HK$17 to HK$18.50. The rises take effect from today.

The raise is more than double the inflation rate.

Residents say the Transport Department had failed to uphold its own guidelines of taking into account public opinion when assessing an application for a fare increase.

Discovery Bay district councillor Amy Yung said ferry operator Discovery Bay Transportation Services - owned by Lantau developer HKR International - had threatened to withdraw services if the rise was not granted, and the department had "succumbed to blackmail".

"We are gravely disappointed that [the department] has abandoned its duty in response to threats," she said.

Both ferry services and bus services in Discovery Bay are operated by subsidiaries of the developer, and run by the same management team.

In May 2011, ferry fares between Discovery Bay and Central went up an average of 7.5 per cent.

"We urge the government to investigate the Transport Department and take firm action against the anti-competitive commercial practices of HKR International in order to protect Discovery Bay's 18,000 residents," Yung said.

The developer has blamed the increases on rising petrol prices, wages and maintenance costs.

The government has extended the operator's licence until April 30 next year.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

This article is now closed to comments

HK-Explorer
There is a bus to Sunny Bay and they can take the train. Thus there is no monopoly. People can also choose to live elsewhere like Tung Chung, Tsing Yi, Ma Wan etc.. There is tons of choice if they don't like the ferry costs. Other places are far cheaper not just based on transportation costs but based on rentals etc..
It has always been known that those who live in Discovery Bay are willing to pay for the privilege and spend tons of $$ daily on food / drink, schooling etc.. Transportation just small cost and 99% of residents are ok with it as it keeps the riff raff out. Don't want their kids dealing with undesirables do they?

Login

SCMP.com Account

or