Water taxi services from Central to Shau Kei Wan have been proposed by a harbourfront planning study.
The idea was put forward in a feasibility report after the completion of the Hong Kong Island East Harbourfront Study by a consultant who was commissioned by the Planning Department.
The report proposed a sightseeing water taxi service running between Central and the Museum of Coastal Defence in Shau Kei Wan. The service would use existing piers and landing steps along the waterfront as pick-up and drop-off points to link up important tourist attractions.
The water taxi stops would include Tong Shui Road pier in North Point, Soho East in Sai Wan Ho, Shau Kei Wan typhoon shelter and the Museum of Coastal Defence.
A survey of Heng Fa Chuen residents and members of the public last year showed that four out of 10 of respondent 'tended to agree' with the proposal.
The survey also said some professional bodies, Eastern district residents and district councillors had expressed interest in the idea and suggested additional water taxi pick-up and drop-off points at Hoi Yu Street, Taikoo Shing, Heng Fa Chuen, Chai Wan and Siu Sai Wan.
They also suggested the vehicles should be powered by electricity to minimise engine noise. Guides could be on board to provide commentary on famous tourist attractions visible along the route.
The report said the water taxi service was part of a long-term vision, which would rely on private sector initiatives.
The Hong Kong Island East Harbourfront Study began in May 2009 and was divided into three stages. It covered 200 hectares of land in North Point, Quarry Bay, Shau Kei Wan and Chai Wan and included both public and private land. Its objective is to formulate a plan to enhance the Island East harbourfront areas, which included studying the possibility of creating a continuous waterfront promenade with cycling facilities and improved accessibility from both land and sea.
The department will now consult the Town Planning Board.
Millions of visitors to Hong Kong last year, including 25.3 million from the mainland and 2 million from Taiwan
(HK SAR statistics department)