22nd November 2022 – (Hong Kong) The Star Ferry operator which is in financial trouble recently applied to the government for a fare increase. The single journey fares for the two franchised routes plan are expected to be increased from from HK$1.8 to HK$4.2 per trip, and the operator intends to cancel the current concession for the elderly. Legislative Council member Ben Chan said on a radio program today (22nd) that the fare increase will not be well received by the public. He also said that the operation of many means of public transportation is no doubt difficult, and the government should consider it clearly when approving fare increases. He believes that the citizens want to retain the Star Ferry, and the authorities can help increase non-ticket revenue, including expanding advertising on the vessels and encouraging local tour groups to charter boats.
Another Legislative Council member, Michael Tien, supported the increase in the one-way fare of the Star Ferry, because after the fare adjustment, it is still 40% cheaper than the MTR and the cross-harbour buses. However, he believes that the monthly ticket fare cannot be increased, pointing out that if the monthly ticket remains at 160 Hong Kong dollars, it is similar to the 30% discount for the MTR monthly ticket and one-way ticket, so he opposes the monthly ticket price increase. He believes that by increasing the price of one-way tickets to the Star Ferry and maintaining monthly ticket prices can not only solve business problems, but also help the grassroots who often go to work by sea. He described it as the best solution. He also pointed out that as the MTR continues to grow, the government will sooner or later consider setting up a public transport fare mechanism to deal with the increase in the fare of all collective transport vehicles to avoid passing the burden on to citizens.