Star Ferry fare hikes approved

January 31, 2023

The Chief Executive-in-Council today approved the Star Ferry Company's fare increase application for its Central-Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui services, and the new fares will be implemented on April 3.


After the fare adjustments, the fares of the two ferry routes will increase by $1 to $2.3 per trip. The adult weekday fares will be capped at $5, and weekend/public holiday fares capped at $6.5


Star Ferry had earlier submitted an application for fare increases, seeking to raise the fares of the two franchised ferry services by $1.8 to $4.2 per trip.


After taking into account all relevant factors, the Government considered that there was a case to support fare adjustments, but the rate of increase should be moderated to cater for the need of passengers.


These factors include Star Ferry's financial position, forecasts of changes in operating costs, revenue and return, past performance in provision of ferry services, public acceptability of the proposed fares and measures implemented by the company to save costs and generate additional revenue.


The Government pointed out that Star Ferry's patronage has been declining in recent years and its tourist patronage has dropped significantly as aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Star Ferry has been recording losses since 2018. With its accumulated loss exceeding its total assets, the company relies on debt to run its franchised services.


While noting that Star Ferry's patronage is expected to recover gradually with the easing of anti-epidemic measures, the Government said the long-term impact of the pandemic remains to be seen.


It added that coupled with expected rising operating costs, there was a need for Star Ferry to adjust its fares.


The Government also said Star Ferry’s service performance has all along been satisfactory, and it has been actively enhancing its service and taking forward various green measures even in a critical financial situation.


The company is encouraged to improve its long-term financial sustainability through a multipronged approach in terms of fare level, non-farebox revenue and government support, in order to continue providing quality services to the public and tourists, and preserve the historical icon with fond memories of Hong Kong.


The maximum fares that could be charged by Star Ferry are set out in the relevant law. The amendment will be tabled at the Legislative Council on February 8 for negative vetting.

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