Speech at Panel on Transport

New Franchise For The “Star” Ferry Company, Limited

The application of a new franchise

Mr CHAN Chun-ying  expressed support of the proposed grant of a new franchise to SF.

Mr CHAN Chun-ying opined that the performance of SF had been generally satisfactory.

Noting the period of the new franchise of SF was proposed to be 15 years while the licence period for other ferry services routes was only three years at maximum, Mr CHAN Chun-ying asked about the reasons for adopting difference standards when granting the above mentioned licence and franchise periods.

STH advised that when considering the franchise period, consideration would be given to the overall service quality of the operator, including public feedback and assessment by the Administration on SF’s performance in implementation of environment improvement measures as well as commitment in improving remuneration and work conditions of its staff. The results of the surveys conducted by the Administration in 2016-17 had shown that the service of SF was generally satisfactory. The proposed grant of a new franchise to SF for 15 years was considered appropriate to enable SF to recover its investment over a longer period.

Harbourfront enhancement

Noting that SF would be required to take up additional management responsibilities of the ground floor of the Central Terminal Building and the Observation Deck of the Wan Chai Ferry Pier during the new franchise period, Mr CHAN Chun-ying was concerned whether extra resources would be deployed for the above purpose. STH clarified that the additional responsibilities aimed at better utilization of the area concerned.

Environmental enhancement and fare regulation

Mr CHAN Chun-ying suggested SF to work with the Hong Kong Tourism Board (“HKTB”) to promote tourism of Hong Kong via its ferry service and that the revenue generated from the publicity programmes should be utilized for subsidizing the retrofitting works.