Hundreds of ferry passengers yesterday complained of bedlam and bad service on the first day of sailings under new operators. Operators beefed up evening services after confusion over the new arrangements caused a string of teething problems during the morning rush hour. Complaints lodged with the new operators and aired to reporters and officials watching the launch of the services included gripes over: Insufficient signs warning passengers of changes in docking piers; Ferries not running on time; Toll gates not functioning properly; Passengers being forced to pay higher fares after cutbacks on ordinary ferry services and more seats put in Deluxe Class; and Less capacity on fast ferries, making many passengers late for work. The majority of complaints were aimed at the Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company, which continues to operate some outlying island routes and two inner-harbour routes. Off-duty construction worker Steven Cannon was angry he could not board the 200-seat fast ferry from Mui Wo, Lantau, to Central despite arriving at the pier 15 minutes before sailing time. 'They don't have enough capacity on their ferries and I fear the situation is going to get worse during the next few days with all the holidaymakers about,' he said. A spokesman for Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry said it would take time for passengers to adjust to the new timetable and other changes. Transport Commissioner Robert Footman said: 'Most of these things are teething problems that require patience from both sides. Overall it's going as well as we can expect.' Under the new structure, Shun Tak Shipping and Star Ferry operate the Tuen Mun service and the Hunghom-Wan Chai/Central services respectively, while the Central-Tsim Sha Tsui East route is served by Discovery Bay Transportation Services. Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry handed out free trips and gifts on its service to Kowloon City and Hunghom from North Point. Passengers were presented with a drink and souvenir pen, while some received a free trip through a special coupon. Some of the first passengers to use Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry's service to Cheung Chau were given a $5 coin. Discovery Bay Transportation Services said it would not charge passengers over Easter for its high-speed link between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui East.