Seventy per cent of Discovery Bay residents prefer just a slight increase in ferry fares, according to a survey. The online survey of 235 people was conducted by DB Forum and community leaders after ferry operator Discovery Bay Transportation Services put up a four-option consultation package for a fare rise of 16 to 64 per cent. 'The data speaks for itself,' said a resident, Sam Wang, in an e-mail. 'The Transport Department should seriously consider the survey results before approving any application.' A spokeswoman for the Transport Department said yesterday it had not received any application for a fare increase from the transport company. The survey showed that 70 per cent preferred the ferry fare to cost between HK$23 and HK$25 in 50-trip tickets. But 58 per cent believed that the realistic fare was HK$26 to HK$28. A single ride now costs HK$27, or HK$23.20 in 50-trip tickets. About 76 per cent of those surveyed believed that the service should be tendered out, while 56 per cent were not worried that the service would be worse if it was tendered out. Discovery Bay Transportation Services notified residents on October 7 of a need to raise ferry fares, citing high fuel prices that had made the business financially unviable. It said that since 2001 it had recorded an accumulated loss of more than HK$120 million. The company presented four options - each involving either a fare rise or a significant cut in services. Under the lowest fare-rise option, the number of services on weekdays would fall by 113 to just 40. Ferries would travel only every 70 minutes during some of the busiest times. Overnight ferries could be scrapped in favour of a bus service from Central. Residents also have the choice of taking buses to Sunny Bay and Tung Chung MTR stations. 'It was a horror when we learned [the company] was going to revamp their ferry services, and the options on their survey are not options at all,' Mr Wang said. A meeting between residents and the ferry company over the fares adjustment late last night proved fruitless. 'It was chaotic,' a resident named Mark said. 'We asked the company to offer us concrete figures over what they said were surging fuel costs, but they could not disclose anything. We are still in a deadlock.'