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News from the SCMP
Dec 2nd, 2016 at 10:49pm
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Discovery Bay ferry operator demands Hong Kong government subsidies to maintain quality service

Company cites government grant of HK$410 million to two ferry operators running outlying island services


Discovery Bay Transportation Services, which runs the ferry service between Discovery Bay and Central, has demanded the government give it an immediate subsidy in the same way that another two operators will receive HK$410 million to run six outlying island ferry routes.

The ferry company made the appeal on Friday at a meeting of the Legislative Council’s transport panel as the government proposed the renewal of the licences for New World First Ferry and Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry for another three years from next year to 2020.

They will receive special subsidies to ease their financial burden and in exchange for a lower average fare rise of 4 per cent next year.

Commissioner for Transport Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan called for lawmakers’ support for the subsidies, warning that without them, the two operators would need to raise fares by over 30 per cent to keep their businesses afloat.

Subsidised Hong Kong ferry firms to cut fares due to excessive profits amid low oil prices(

The operators said their financial plight was caused by a “significant increase in operating costs”, in particular a rise in crew pay in recent years and fluctuating oil prices.

The fare rises will apply to routes between Central and Cheung Chau, Peng Chau, Mui Wo on Lantau and Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan on Lamma, as well as the inter-island route linking Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan and Cheung Chau.

“A fare rise of 4 per cent is very minor. If there aren’t any subsidies provided for these two ferry operators, they will need to increase their fares by over 30 per cent,” Yeung said.

“We propose to provide a total of HK$410 million for the operators so the fare rise can be lowered to just 4 per cent instead of 10 per cent, as originally proposed by
  
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Re: News from the SCMP
Reply #1 - Dec 3rd, 2016 at 4:45am
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You can link to the story. I think SCMP no longer requires subscription to read their online articles.
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/2051237/discovery-bay-ferry-o...

I think the most important bit is the second half of the article.

DBTSL Senior Manager Peter Tsang Kai-leung said the DB ferry operation had been suffering losses for many years due to rising operating costs and demanded the government extend the special subsidies to them so they can "maintain a quality ferry service" which costs HK$ 2 to 5 million per year (maintenance & renovation work). In 2014 the company stated it had suffered a loss of $100 million.

The average daily patronage of DB ferry route is stated as 11,000 and the ticket is $40.

Commissioner for Transport Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan responded that the government would "review the operating model" of the remaining eight outlying island ferry routes in Q2 2019.
  
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Re: News from the SCMP
Reply #2 - Dec 3rd, 2016 at 8:19am
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garmato wrote on Dec 3rd, 2016 at 4:45am:
You can link to the story. I think SCMP no longer requires subscription to read their online articles.
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/2051237/discovery-bay-ferry-o...


I know, but not everyone can be bothered to go follow links.
  
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