Chief Executive in Council approves Star Ferry's application for fare increase

     The Chief Executive in Council approved today (April 11) the "Star" Ferry Company, Limited (Star Ferry)'s application for fare increases for its two franchised ferry routes, "Central-Tsim Sha Tsui" and "Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui" (details of the new fares are in the Annex).
     In July 2016, Star Ferry submitted an application for fare increases, seeking to increase the fares of the two ferry services in two phases, viz an increase of some 17.5 per cent for implementation in February 2017 and a further 6.5 per cent increase for implementation in February 2018 (i.e. cumulative fare increases, with compounding effect, of some 25.2 per cent). 
     "Star Ferry suffered a loss in 2016. Its farebox revenue has shown a downward trend since 2014 while its weekday and holiday fares were not increased for, respectively, seven and five years. We consider there is a case for fare increases. However, we consider there is no sufficient ground supporting the application for the two-phase fare increases proposed by Star Ferry. Therefore, the Government recommended and the Chief Executive in Council approved allowing fare increases by Star Ferry in one go by a weighted average rate of fare increase of 8.9 per cent, to take effect on July 15, 2017. Star Ferry's current franchise would end on March 31, 2018, and that Star Ferry's financial position is expected to be more promising with the better-performing non-farebox income. Star Ferry's financial position could be further assessed in the context of considering its franchise renewal in future," a Government spokesman said.
     The spokesman said that when considering Star Ferry's application for fare increases, the Government had taken into account all factors including the financial position of the ferry operator; forecasts of changes in operating cost, revenue and return; past performance of the ferry operator in the provision of ferry services; public acceptability of the proposed fares; and measures implemented by the ferry operator to save costs and generate additional revenue.
     The maximum fares that could be charged by Star Ferry are set out in the Ferry Services (The "Star" Ferry Company, Limited) (Determination of Fares) Order (Cap. 104C). The amendments will be submitted to the Legislative Council for negative vetting. Upon completion of these procedures, the new fares will take effect from July 15, 2017.
     The Government consulted the Legislative Council Panel on Transport on February 24, 2017, and the Transport Advisory Committee on March 1, 2017, on Star Ferry's application for fare increases.

Ends/Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:30