Star Ferry wants to increase fares on its routes from Hung Hom to Central and Wan Chai in a move described by the Transport Department as necessary for the routes to continue but rejected by district councillors.
The company has applied to increase the fare on the two routes from HK$6 to HK$6.30 for adults and from HK$3 to HK$3.20 for children - an increase of 5 to 6.7 per cent.
The application comes after the company raised fares on the routes by about 13 per cent in April last year.
Star Ferry says patronage on the routes is 2,500 to 2,900 a day and revenue does not cover operating costs.
The Transport Department said it believed the two routes could not continue to operate without the increase, which requires consultation with district councils and approval by the legislature and Executive Council. Kowloon District Council will discuss the application at a meeting on Thursday.
Councillor Rosanda Mok Ka-han said most members opposed the increase.
'The reason that so few people use the two ferry routes is the expensive fares. If the fares are increased, fewer people will use the services.' She said the company should improve service such as by increasing frequency to attract custom.
The Transport Department said it had approved fare increases on 74 green minibus routes between January and yesterday ranging from 20 cents to HK$1. It was considering applications on 33 other routes.