Star Ferry plans to raise price over financial flounder, govt calls think twice

The company of Hong Kong's iconic ferry, the Star Ferry Company, earlier applied to raise the fare by up to HK$4.2 over its ongoing financial crisis, but was suspended temporarily due to the government's consideration.

Under its proposal, the company's two franchised routes - Wanchai to Tsim Sha Tsui and Central to Tsim Sha Tsui - will be charged a HK$1.8 to HK$4.2 increase in fares.

The elderly will need to pay HK$2 for each voyage instead of the former free trip.

"We have seen a continuous loss in revenue since 2018," said a spokesperson of the company, noting a HK$37 million deficit was recorded last year.

"It is reasonable that the ferry company in urgent to improve the financial situation as it is facing a dilemma," said the Transport and Logistics Bureau.

However, the Bureau noted that the range of fare increases needs to be adjusted appropriately regarding public opinion.

According to its operation report, the 124-year-history ferry company recorded its fare receipts revenue falling below HK$10 million in the first half of the year, 24 percent lower than last year and 65 percent lower than in 2019.

It also needed to pay costs of HK$1 million per week, including the total operating expenses, staff salaries, repairs, and maintenance fees.