Lamma.com.hk

LAMMA-ZINE - CLASSIFIEDS - EVENTS - GALLERIES - LINKS - Subscribe - Donate - Advertise - Contact Us - Facebook

  WHAT'S NEW? Race Report: 4 Peaks Race ~ Why Visit Lamma? ~ Missing woman falls & dies
  WHAT'S ON?    LNY lunch for Elderlies ~ Lamma Waste no mall ~ Lamma Dragons Newbie Day
  LAMMA-ZINE:  Nick the YouTube Star ~ LNY @ Tin Hau Temple ~ Rooster Dragon or Mutant Turkey 

It is currently Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:24 am

All times are UTC + 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:32 pm 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
RTHK radio news tonight:

The Transport Dept has applied for $120 million from the govt. to subsidise ferry fares on 6 Outlying Islands ferry routes, including 2 to Lamma; mainly to offset half of future fare raises, maintain the current service levels and make the difference between weekday and weekend fares as small as 20%, effective for the next 3-year tender period.

Only HKKF and NWF routes, Tsui Wah's Aberdeen-Pak Kok and Aberdeen-SKW routes do not seem to be included, according to Chinese TV news (?)

There was a Lamma-zine story providing background and the letter campaign that some Lammaites and Living Lamma started in Feb to push the Financial Secretary for such a ferry subsidy in this year's budget. Could the govt. actually have listened to them and other Outlying Islands activists, especially the noisy and sometimes successful ones from Lantau? :shock:

Feb 11: An Arduous, Shambolic & Acrimonious Process

Has anybody seen more details?

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.


Last edited by Lamma-Gung on Sat May 29, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:25 pm 
Offline
over 100 messages posted
over 100 messages posted
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:13 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Pak Kok
Paper: "Review on Ferry Services for Oultying Islands". The paper will be presented to the Legislative Council Panel on Transport on 23 April 2010.

The above paper is also on the following webpages of TD's website -

http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/review_on_ferry_services_for_outlying_islands/index.html (English version)

http://www.td.gov.hk/tc/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/review_on_ferry_services_for_outlying_islands/index.html (Chinese version)

Should you have any views on the subject, please feel free to forward to the following designated e-mail account : ferryreview_feedback@td.gov.hk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:43 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Pasting the text here:

<hr>
Review on Ferry Services for Outlying Islands
In May 2008, the Government committed to conduct a review on the outlying island ferry services with a view to enhancing the long-term financial viability of these services and maintaining fare stability. The review has recently been preliminarily completed. The Government considers that the outlying island ferry services are facing chronic problems of a lack of growth in demand and highly volatile fuel costs.

Though the Government has been providing measures to enhance the financial viability of the outlying island ferry services, in view of the characteristics and the chronic problem of the ferry services, the Government considers that there is a need to step up the helping measures. Our proposals are as follows:

To support the six major trunk routes including Central - Cheung Chau route; Inter-Islands route serving Peng Chau, Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan and Cheung Chau; Central - Mui Wo route; Central - Peng Chau route; Central - Yung Shue Wan route; and Central - Sok Kwu Wan route when such a need arises

<UL><LI>To maintain the existing service levels of the six major trunk routes in the next tender
<LI>To narrow the differential between weekday and holiday fares to a maximum of 20%
<LI>To extend the currently provided special ad hoc helping measures to all the six routes
<LI>To reduce the rate of fare increase (after netting off the rate of general inflation) by reimbursing to the operators the vessel maintenance cost that has been incurred
<LI>To ensure that fare levels should be appropriately adjusted when operating costs are projected to be reduced, a mid-term review will be conducted</UL>

For the details of the Government's proposals, please refer to the <a href="http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_4368/ferry%20review%20legco%20transport%20panel%20paper.pdf" target="_blank">Legislative Council Transport Panel Paper </a> (34KB) below:
You are welcome to send us your views by phone, by fax, by post or e-mail.

Phone No. :2804 2600
Fax. No.:2824 2176
Address: Transport Department Ferry and Paratransit Division
40th floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
E-mail Address : ferryreview_feedback@td.gov.hk


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:02 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Lamma-Gung wrote:
Only HKKF and NWF routes, Tsui Wah's Aberdeen-Pak Kok and Aberdeen-SKW routes do not seem to be included, according to Chinese TV news (?)


See the PDF for full details:

Quote:
a) Six major trunk routes
We will support the six major trunk routes mentioned in paragraph
4 above when such a need arises. In effect, this would mean one
route for each of the major islands except for Lamma Island where
we propose to support two routes because of the geographical
distance between Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan.


So it looks like those who use the Aberdeen ferry are screwed. But loud enough protests may change that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:21 pm 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
This very informative ferry review makes for some fascinating reading, highly recommended for all ferry passengers!

Average daily patronage in 2009:

Central - Yung Shue Wan: 7,815
Central - Sok Kwu Wan: 997
Aberdeen - Yung Shue Wan via Pak Kok Tsuen: 749
Aberdeen - Sok Kwu Wan via Mo Tat: 523


Attachments:
File comment: (C) 2010 SCMP
SCM_News_ferry200.jpg
SCM_News_ferry200.jpg [ 206.67 KiB | Viewed 1752 times ]

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:22 pm 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
The govt. announcement sounds great on first reading, I'm sure the two ferry companies are celebrating already, but the problems are in the details.

All of this is just a proposal by the Transport Dept. for now, still far from actually being approved by LegCo and the govt.

The best we can hope to get out of this as frequent ferry passengers is a little bit smaller fare increase next year (as something like a third of a modest increase would be covered by the subsidies from 2011-14); but no fare reductions or any service improvements?

As they've announced to bring the weekend and weekday fares much closer - only 20% instead of the current approx. 40% difference - this will probably mean a much higher fare increase for weekdays but no increase at all for weekends?

Let's also hear from Pak-Kokians, Chuen Kee Ferry Co and Tsui Wah Ferry Co. (Lamma ferries from Aberdeen) what they think of being excluded from the subsidies....

Comments, please!


Attachments:
File comment: (C) April 20, 2010 SCMP, CITY section cover page
SCM_News_ferry-100420.jpg
SCM_News_ferry-100420.jpg [ 292.4 KiB | Viewed 1722 times ]

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:43 pm 
Offline
over 200 messages posted
over 200 messages posted

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:07 am
Posts: 277
I see some major implictions for Lamma here.

1. Mo Tat Wan and Pak Kok will likely lose their ferries. Trememdously inconvenient for all concerned. PK will also create inconvenience to many YSW passengers who use the Aberdeen connection.

2. If the proposed reduction in fare comes in on Sunday/PH then both YSW and SKW will be inundated even more by Sunday visitors. Both places currently feel the overload (I do not believe many of the businesses will welcome more visitors. At present you need to book a table in many places if you want to eat out in either area).

The issue with the differential between Sundays/PH for the other islands is more of a major one in terms of beefing up the weekend visitor traffic. Places like Peng Chau would benefit from more visitors. The businessess there as I understand it, need and would welcome the possibility of extra customers.

Let us not forget also that govt put in place some sort of subsidy for weekday passengers coming from HK side a year or so ago. This applied mainly as far as I could see to lower income school children and possibly some handicapped ones. These people did not (probably could not) contribute to the economy of Lamma (which was I believe the purpose although I could be wrong) because they could not afford to eat in restaurants and buy much.

In my very humble opinion there are some well-intentioned people in high places, with half hearted ideas who put these very nice things into place without thinking about the overall ramifications. Changing what is probably a lucrative bit of income for the Lamma ferry company, and which will only create further traffic to no advantage to locals ,is ill-conceived. Sure, encourage visitors to the islands that actually will benefit from them. But don't upset a system that works about as well for everyone as it can at present.

I do, however, laud the govt for providing at this late date a form of subsidy.

Sorry if I have ranted a bit. And if I have offended anyone. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:13 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Boss wrote:
2. If the proposed reduction in fare comes in on Sunday/PH then both YSW and SKW will be inundated even more by Sunday visitors. Both places currently feel the overload (I do not believe many of the businesses will welcome more visitors


A few dollars either way won't change the number of weekend visitors. I doubt any would even bother to check the fare before they set out.

But if it did, it certainly would be welcomed by local businesses. If restaurants have more customers than they can deal with at current rates, they'll take their menu upmarket or just increase the prices. And there are plenty of little shops that are desperate for custom. I'm sure if our politicians had anything to do with this (they'll probably try to take credit, regardless) they would have pushed the line "More tourists = More business = Doubleplusgood".

But I don't believe that any fares will be reduced. At best, they'll go up less than they might otherwise.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:54 pm 
Offline
over 800 messages posted
over 800 messages posted
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:24 pm
Posts: 849
Location: Shifting Sands
Alan wrote:
A few dollars either way won't change the number of weekend visitors. I doubt any would even bother to check the fare before they set out.


Anywhere else I would agree, but this is HK - where people trample each other to death to grab a free bag of rice. Still, as you say, no chance of the ferry companies passing the subsidies on to passengers - it'll just mean lower increases.

_________________
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:07 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Marc Antony wrote:
Alan wrote:
A few dollars either way won't change the number of weekend visitors. I doubt any would even bother to check the fare before they set out.


Anywhere else I would agree, but this is HK - where people trample each other to death to grab a free bag of rice.

I think people setting out for a day at the beach, or a big fish dinner, won't be counting their pennies.

Consider the price of food and drinks at the beach vs Main Street, for instance.

$5 more or less per trip is important if it's every day, but not if it's a few times a year.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 8:45 am 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
I got this flyer handed to me at the Central ferry pier yesterday and also emailed from Lammadonna's office and the Living Lamma group.
I've also put it onto the home page.

The Chinese version is in our Chinese forum.

Plus the full link to the <b> <a target="_blank" href="http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/review_on_ferry_services_for_outlying_islands/index.html">ferry review info</a></b> and the <b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr09-10/english/panels/tp/papers/tp0423cb1-1648-4-e.pdf">Legislative Council Transport Panel Paper</a></b>,
plus the email address - ferryreview_feedback@td.gov.hk - to submit your views, of course!


Attachments:
TD-notice-eng-b.jpg
TD-notice-eng-b.jpg [ 115.56 KiB | Viewed 1582 times ]

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 2:53 pm 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
Alan wrote:
Transport Department wrote:
28 May 2010
To local organizations of North Lamma Island

Dear Sir/ Madam
Review on Ferry Services for Outlying Islands
In May 2008, The Government committed to conduct a review on the outlying island lorry services with a view to enhancing the long-term financial viability of these services and maintaining fare stability. On 23 April 2010, the Government presented a paper on ''Review on Ferry Services for Outlying Islands" to the Legislative Council Panel on Transport, which sets out the proposals of the Government.

In view of the characteristics of and the chronic problems faced by the outlying islands ferry services, the Government proposes to provide special helping measures to the six major trunk routes including Central to Cheung Chau route, Inter-Islands route. Central lo Mui Wo route, Central to Peng Chau route, Central to Yung Shue Wan and Central to Sok Kwu Wan route. Please refer to the Annex for the details.
To further collect the views of the locals. Transport Department, with the support of North Lamma Island Rural Committee, will organize a public forum at Yung Shue Wan.

The details are as follows -
Date: 6 June 2010 (Sunday)
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Venue: Northern Lamma School (1 Yung Shue Ling. Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island)
We welcome your organization and residents of North Lamma Island to join the forum.

If you have any enquiry regarding the public forum, please feel free to contact the undersigned or Miss Judy HUI, Transport Officer of this Department at 2829 5249.

Yours faithfully.
(Ms Anna YEUNG) for Commissioner for Transport

The Government's Proposals under The Review on Ferry Services for Outlying Islands

(1) The Government will support the six major trunk routes including Central - Cheung Chau route; Inter-Islands route serving Peng Chau. Mui Wo, Chi Ma Wan and Cheung Chau: Central - Mui Wo route: Central - Peng Chau route; Central - Yung Shue Wan route; and Central - Sok Kwu Wan route when such a need arises.
(2) The existing service levels of the six major trunk routes will be maintained in the next tender.
(3) The holiday fare differential will be reduced from currently about 40% to not more than 20%.
(4) The special ad hoc helping measures introduced since July 2008 will be extended to all the six major trunk routes in order to reduce the operating costs of the routes. (Remarks)
(5) When a fare increase of any individual route of the six major trunk routes is considered justified after thorough assessment, the Government will share some of the burden of the commuters so that the rate of fare increase could be reduced by half (after netting off the rate of general inflation) by reimbursing to the operators the vessel maintenance cost.
(6) To ensure that fare levels should be appropriately adjusted when operating costs arc projected to be reduced, a mid-term review will be conducted
(7) The Government will consider providing further assistance to needy groups to alleviate the pressure of fare increase on them.

Remarks: The following special helping measures have been provided since July 2008 to the Central - Mui Wo route, Central - Peng Chau route, Central -Yung Shue Wan route and Central - Sok Kwu Wan route -

(i) waiving annual vessel survey fee and private mooring fee;
(ii) waiving pier water charge:
(iii) reimbursing pier cleansing and electricity charge; and
(iv) reimbursing the balance of revenue forgone due to provision of elderly fare concessions alter netting off the amount of pier rental reimbursement and vessel licence fee exemption under the current arrangement.

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:02 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Alan wrote:
To: ferryreview_feedback@td.gov.hk
Subject: Lamma Ferry Service Review

Dear Sirs,

I note in your proposed policy change for Lamma ferries that:

>"We will narrow the holiday differential to a maximum of 20% in
>the next tender to address calls by residents for reducing the
>holiday fare differential."

I strongly disagree with this. And I believe that most residents of Lamma would not agree with this proposal.

It was obviously drafted by some businessman who thinks it will get more customers for his business.

It is at odds with the interests of the average person who lives on Lamma and catches a ferry 6 days a week -- several thousand of us. To reduce the weekend surcharge means that we will inevitably be paying more.

It would not even make any noticeable difference to the number of tourists. On every weekend or holiday the ferries to Lamma are packed and often extra ferries are scheduled. A few dollars more or less will make no difference to anyone making a holiday trip. It does however impact on those of us who make the trip every day.

I'm sure some district councillor or village representative beholden to business interests got this into the policy. I very strongly object to the claim that "residents" called for this, because we do not.
HOW MANY RESIDENTS? Have you done a survey?

Sincerely


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:17 pm 
Offline
over 400 messages posted
over 400 messages posted

Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:39 pm
Posts: 465
AGREED


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:47 am 
Offline
Over 1,000 messages posted
Over 1,000 messages posted
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2002 12:28 am
Posts: 1028
Location: on line
What I dont get of the government /transport dept thinking is that as a territory comprised of islands, why is there even a question of not subsidising ALL ferry services as an essential part of the HK infrasturucture in the same way as rail and road is?

Without starting blood to boil mentioning the $66.6bn that the idiots are going to spend on an uneconomical high speed link to somewhere far from Guangzhou, or a fucking road bridge (!!) to a grid-locked Macau, why can't hong kong have all ferry services guaranteed for island residents? If the YSW-Pak Kok- Aberdeen service is stopped, a whole community will be put at risk. Imagine having to walk over both ways, every day, with school bags / shopping / prams :(

Mind you, I think the immediate priority of the government should be more on preventing mothers jumping off buildings with their children and giving human cage dwellers a chance to escape poverty than giving weekend visitors a $2 discount. The shame of this 'government' is shocking.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:27 am 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
Public Ferry Forum in the Primary School tomorrow, Sunday, 2-3:30pm.

This response from Living Lamma is a great introduction to the topics and a timely preparation for the Forum for all of us Lamma ferry passengers:

Living Lamma

www.livinglamma.org -- info@livinglamma.org


Response to the Transport Department’s
“Review of Ferry Services for Outlying Islands” (23 April 2010)

3rd June 2010

In February of this year, Living Lamma wrote to the Financial Secretary outlining our concerns about the provision of ferry services for Lamma residents. In that letter we said:

1. Life for everyone on the outlying islands relies upon the ferry services. These are currently not subsidised in any way, nor do they receive financial support from Government in the form of capital injection other than through the provision of ferry piers.

2. This is a missed opportunity. There would be significant environmental and commercial gains were the ferry services to be given greater support. The boats themselves could be improved to cut emissions and the ferry piers could be renovated to include more retail/restaurant space. There could also be more inter-island services to support tourism.

3. Other forms of transport receive support, be it directly or indirectly. Buses, taxis and trams are given free, well-maintained roads. Some have received cash injection to allow them to use modified fuel, which is better for the environment. The MTR receives capital grants and is allocated property to develop.

4. To date, the Transport Department has held the view that a policy does not allow subsidies to be given to public transport. However, whichever way the Government chooses to word this, it is still clear that the ferry services are out on a limb whilst other modes of public transport are given assistance to ensure their safe, regular and ongoing operations.

5. The last ferry tendering process turned out to be a debacle and has resulted in total inequality of services on different routes.

6. We on Lamma suffer a long and very uncomfortable journey if we need to travel to Aberdeen. The service is infrequent and as a result is less frequently used, causing commuters to clog up the roads unnecessarily when traveling to Aberdeen via Central. Effectively, there is no convenient access for Lamma residents to Aberdeen shops and facilities, schools in the areas and Ocean Park.

7. The direct service to Central is much more acceptable but we are all waiting with bated breath to see how the next tendering process will be handled and if indeed we will be made to suffer a further reduction in this essential service. Ferry routes to other islands are also troubled by lack of Government support.

We welcome the Transport Department’s efforts (outlined in the “Review on Ferry Services for Outlying Islands” of April 2010) to enhance the long-term financial viability of services and maintain fare stability on the six major trunk routes, which include Central to Yung Shue Wan and Central to Sok Kwu Wan. However, we have concerns over some of the assumptions made in the paper. These are:

ASSUMPTION 1: “The outlying islands ferry services are faced with chronic problems of a lack of growth in demand and highly volatile fuel costs which lead to the pressure of continued fare increase.”

On Lamma, we see no evidence of lack of growth in demand. In fact, property prices continue to rise at a time of increased supply indicating more demand, not less. In addition, it is not uncommon to find boats from Central full at the weekends and passengers turned away, though the ferry company will provide additional unscheduled sailings at these busy times.

Demand may have fallen on the Pak Kok – Yung Shue Wan - Aberdeen route, but this is perhaps more a consequence of the deterioration in service and increased fare, with many people now opting to commute to the South side of Hong Kong Island via Central (it is cheaper, more comfortable and takes less time). Perhaps if the service to Aberdeen were better, patronage would be encouraged.

Volatility may not be an issue. The price of fuel can also come down (and this has been the case recently), yet we have seen no corresponding decrease in fares. The paper suggests that Government would conduct a mid-term review to adjust fares downward when fuel costs are projected to fall. Surely this would just increase bureaucracy (and therefore cost) and uncertainty for the ferry companies? By the time such a review was conducted, the ferry companies could be into the last year of their tender and what happens if oil prices suddenly rise again?

This leads us to question another assumption on which the Government’s paper rests:

ASSUMPTION 2: “Whereas fuel cost constitutes a significant portion of total operating expenditure, it is outside the operators’ control and putting the business at high risk.”

Many businesses have to deal with volatile fuel costs, but are able to hedge to mitigate against sudden unexpected rises in the price of fuel. We assume that the ferry companies are not currently doing this, or hedged at a higher price than can be met by revenue and are therefore arguing for increasing fares. The government could make it a requirement that ferry companies hedge against fuel prices to remove the risk caused by sudden upswings in prices for the period of the tender.

ASSUMPTION 3: “There is not much room for cost cutting and revenue generation or cost containment.”

This statement may be true given the current level of investment in ferry services. However, it is difficult for ferry companies to shoulder this investment given that the short tender contract and the lack of consolidation of ferry service routes. Under the current system, there are few opportunities for economies of scale or scope. Those companies that are awarded less profitable routes in the tender lottery cannot cross subsidise unless they also win a route that provides a big enough margin to do this.

On revenue generation, the Central ferry piers occupy a prime location on the Hong Kong harbourfront, yet for the most part the piers themselves are under-utilized. There could be rooftop gardens with bars and/or restaurants on every pier. The second floors could be used for retail space. Some of the ferry companies perhaps do not have the resources to facilitate retail businesses in the way that the MTR has done, or perhaps it would not be worth the effort given that they run the risk of losing their tender every 3 years.

Some time ago, in response to requests from Lamma residents for an additional weekend sailing after 12.30 am from Central, the ferry company piloted a 2.30 am sailing over a period of 2 months. Surprisingly the pilot scheme was operated every night of the week. The results were averaged out over all the additional sailings during the period and (unsurprisingly) it was concluded that demand was too low to justify extending the service.

Had the pilot been run only on Friday and Saturday nights, the results would have been very different. If the ferry company was able to select an appropriate vessel and charge an appropriate amount for a late night sailing, there may have been an opportunity for revenue generation. If the company was able to conduct proper market research, they may have found that by changing the time by 30 minutes, they could increase the number of passengers.

ASSUMPTION 4: “We have looked into the option of the Government providing hardware. It would involve a very huge capital expenditure but would not reduce pressure on fare increases because it would not help enhance revenue or reduce operating costs except for depreciation.”

We are concerned at the way Government views capital expenditure. We believe cleaner, faster, more fuel-efficient ferries would encourage patronage, as well as reduce emissions. The Government’s paper makes no mention of the environment or emission reductions.

The Government also seems to infer that hardware must be purchased outright. It does not. Interest rates are currently low, making it a good time to invest in capital equipment. Of course, interest rates may rise in future. However, in a similar way that enterprises deal with oil price fluctuations, measures can (and should) be taken to minimize exposure to interest rate fluctuations.

Some Conclusions

The Transport Department’s paper states that the Government, “Undertook to study the long-term development of outlying islands ferry services,” yet the paper does not take a long-term view of such basic elements as oil prices, interest rates or emission targets. The current system provides little opportunity for cross-subsidization of routes or allow the companies to have a planning horizon of more than 3 years.

The Government paper does not adequately explain why the other options explored were not found to be acceptable. We would very much like to see details of the Government’s study outlining the routes and times of hopper services, the types of route and service standardization proposed, forecasts of possible rental income should the use of the ferry piers be optimized, the length of the franchises proposed, and so on. Without these details it is impossible to support the Government’s position on these points.

We would like to see a more holistic approach that provides fuel-efficient services on all routes. Other countries are able to achieve this and still provide an affordable service, so why can’t Hong Kong? Beautifully developed ferry piers, increased flow of visitors between the islands, and improvements to fuel efficiency would over the long term provided benefits to the community beyond what is achievable on a three-year balance sheet for one particular company on one particular route. Through the MTR, Hong Kong has a world-class underground and overland rail network of which it can be proud. Why can’t we find some way to make our ferry services world class too?

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:39 pm 
Offline
Discussions Forum Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
Posts: 5046
Location: Tai Peng
Well, the meeting today went pretty much as expected.

Two bureaucrats turned up and read out the "proposal", as above.
Then they "listened" to our opinions.
Then they basically said they valued our input and were going to write it down and file it away. Then they will go ahead with their original plan.

A few people tried to get some explanation of the reduction in weekend surcharge: apparently there was as survey and we all want that. News to me. Also, they "don't know if that would mean daily fares would rise", because "the ferry company might decide to absorb the loss of revenue". We all had a good laugh about that.

But the meeting was dominated by about 10 or so (out of 30 or 40 total) people from Pak Kok who were extremely angry that they are being thrown to the wolves. But of course, like everyone else, they were "listened to" and then ignored.

Suggestions that the franchise should be for longer than three years so the ferry companies could invest in the business were met with the argument that the ferry companies didn't want to do that. Of course, why would they give up that leverage? It's much better for them to be able to have the government over a barrel every three years and force them to make concessions, so that's understandable.

Suggestions that the "volatile fuel costs" should be ameliorated by hedging, that the government should buy ferries and lease them back to ferry companies to reduce the capital costs were shrugged off.

We were told that there would be a mid-term review of ticket prices, and if the ferry company was making an excessive profit (of course, due to their own account, which is "confidential"), the ticket cost would be reduced. We had another good laugh at that.

Yu Lai Fan didn't bother to show up. Maybe she was afraid she'd have shoes or bananas thrown at her.

No one from HKKF either.

No free snacks or drinks, so it was basically a complete waste of time.

There will be a subsidy, but it's obvious that the ferry companies will just factor that into their bargaining for higher fares next time around and inflate their demands accordingly.

The TD did commit to keeping the same standard of service for YSW and SKW, which is good, but the economics of it are as murky and ill-planned as ever.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:17 am 
Offline
Site Admin, Webmaster, Lamma-zine Editor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:22 pm
Posts: 10000
Location: Pak Kok Village
Amen to that.
I've got exactly the same comments and conclusions as Alan.
I left in a bad mood, another nice Sunday afternoon wasted in a pointless, fruitless "Public Forum".

Forum, what forum, just a Q&A session with a PowerPoint presentation of exactly the same content as the flyer, plus a bit of Q&A with prepared replies from the two TD stooges. No senior official or ANYBODY from HKKF did even show up.

The TD officer referred to a ferry passenger survey about 2 months ago. Has anybody every heard of this survey or even participated or ever seen any results? I haven't and I make it my business to be usually well-informed on these important matters.

For a supposedly bilingual meeting, heavily promoted as such, almost 90% of the session was conducted in Cantonese, with almost no English translation provided, not even summaries, despite protests. Many of the numerous non-Cantonese speakers left early, frustrated.
Our top local politicians were present but kept totally quiet throughout, except to thank the TD officials at the end for showing up, also in Cantonese only, of course.

In the Public Ferry Forum Lantau meeting - same TD officials, one day earlier - at least they did their usual "mock workshop" exercise where they asked residents to collect opinions and potential solutions, just to ignore or dismiss them at the end, as I've witnessed myself in other so-called Public Forums.

To make it short, I won't waste my time in meetings like this anymore any time soon and will refrain from heavily promoting them on this website in the future, just listing the basic facts in the Lamma Events Calendar. My apologies to everybody who showed up, attracted by my meeting publicity, and wasted their Sunday afternoon, like myself.

My guess for next year's HKKF retendering would be, same fares for the weekend, but at least a 20% increase for weekday fares. They made it very clear that their top[ priority is bringing the weekend and weekday fares in line, reducing the difference from 40% to 20%. As fares never ever go down, this means a huge increase for weekday fares next year. As HKKF won't be permitted to increase the weekend/holiday fares, by far their most profitable source of revenue, the weekday fares will have to absorb the entire anticipated fare increase.

None of the very vocal opposition from the Lamma residents, even business owners, to this "top priority" registered much with the TD officials,
"We'll take your opinions under advisement"....

Any longer-term issues, public transport strategy, ferry emissions or other sources of revenue for the ferry companies were hardly mentioned.

More examples of the TD Dept.'s "Arduous, Shambolic & Acrimonious Process", as Sharon from The Island Bar/Waterfront Rest. correctly called the last ferry retender debacle, will be happening next year, both for the YSW and Pak Kok routes....


Attachments:
File comment: Handout at Public Ferry Forum, June 6, 2010, North Lamma Primary School
TD-handout-100606.jpg
TD-handout-100606.jpg [ 128.05 KiB | Viewed 1455 times ]

_________________
Click here for Lamma-zine stories and recent Lamma Spotlights of the Week:
Photo, Video, Person, Wildlife, Bird, Artwork.
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group