The Transport Department (TD) announced the tender results of the six major outlying island ferry services on September 8. Effective from April 1, 2021, New World First Ferry Services will operate the Central to Mui Wo and Central to Cheung Chau ferry routes, as well as the Inter-islands routes between Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan and Cheung Chau. Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry will operate the Central to Peng Chau, Central to Yung Shue Wan, and Central to Sok Kwu Wan ferry routes.
The two ferry operators have pledged to enhance service levels and provide additional fare concessions during the new five-year licence period.
In response to passenger demand, the operators will disseminate arrival/ departure times of sailings and the number of remaining seats available via mobile phone applications. Existing benches and fans will be replaced at ferry piers, and passengers can also look forward to the provision of wi-fi and self-service ticket machines. In order to further enhance service levels, additional early morning, evening and peak period sailings will be introduced.
Given that the last fare increase of the six major outlying island ferry routes was in 2017, the TD stipulated that any fare increases proposed by the tenderers must not exceed 5%. Effective April 1, 2021, the average fare increase rate of a single adult fare will be 4.7%. Meanwhile, in addition to safeguarding existing fare concessions, the selected operators will provide new fare concessions including a student monthly ticket and a multi-ride ticket.
During the new five-year licence period, the TD will implement the long-term operation model for the six major outlying island ferry routes and continue to provide Special Helping Measures. The TD also plans to launch a Vessel Subsidy Scheme to maintain financial viability, improve service quality and promote environmental protection.Tags: ferry services