Hong Kong’s Star Ferry fares to go up 8.9 per cent in July

Company applied to increase prices last year citing rising operating costs and continued revenue dips

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 8:56am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 8:56am

Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry has been given the green light to increase its fares for its franchised routes across Victoria Harbour by an average of 8.9 per cent starting July 15.

The upper-deck fare for adults on the Central-Tsim Sha Tsui route will rise from HK$2.50 to HK$2.70 on weekdays and from HK$3.40 to HK$3.70 on weekends and public holidays.

Lower-deck fares will increase from HK$2 to HK$2.20 on weekdays and from HK$2.80 to HK$3.10 on weekends and holidays.

New fares for children will be HK$1.60 on weekdays and HK$2.20 on weekends and holidays.

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For the Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui route, adult fares will rise from HK$2.50 to HK$2.70 on weekdays and from HK$3.40 to HK$3.70 on weekends and holidays.

Fares for children on the upper deck will be 10 cents more at HK$1.60 on weekdays and HK$2.20 on weekends and holidays, while new tickets for the lower deck will cost HK$1.50 on weekdays and HK$2.10 on weekends and holidays.

The price of monthly tickets for both routes will rise from HK$125 to HK$135.

The fare increases by a weighted average rate of 8.9 per cent were approved by the Executive Council on Tuesday and will take effect on July 15.

In July last year, the 129-year-old franchised ferry operator applied to raise adult fares for the routes from 23.5 per cent to 30 per cent in two phases over this and next year, citing rising operating costs and continued revenue dips

A government spokesman said on Tuesday that Star Ferry had suffered a loss last year, with its farebox revenue showing a downward trend since 2014, while its weekday and holiday fares had not been raised for seven and five years respectively.

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But the government said there was no sufficient ground supporting the application for the proposed two-phase fare increases.

“Star Ferry’s current franchise will end on March 31, 2018, and Star Ferry’s financial position is expected to be more promising with the better-performing non-farebox income. Its financial position could be further assessed in the context of considering its franchise renewal in the future,” the spokesman said.

Star Ferry last increased its fares in June 2012.