In recent years, there have been requests from time to time in the society to increase marine traffic services.
The Transport Department has recently called for tenders for the kaito ferry services of "Tseung Kwan O (South) - Sai Wan Ho" and "Sai Kung - Liang Shuen Wan - Kau Sai Tsuen", and hopes to launch the routes in the second quarter of this year.
According to the tender documents, the former will run at least every 45 minutes and the flight time will not exceed 30 minutes.
Sai Kung District Councilor Fang Guoshan invited Kaito to test the route about three years ago. She believed that the residents of Tseung Kwan O had a certain demand for the route to and from Sai Ho Wan, and after the opening of the Tseung Kwan O Cross-Bay Bridge, the area has added tourism elements. Passenger flow, especially the route, will pass through the bottom of the bridge.
However, some ferry companies also said that the line is difficult to operate, the cost of shipping itself is high, and it is difficult to hire a captain, and the passenger volume is believed to be very small, describing it as "hard".
From the perspective of passenger transport business alone, it is believed that no company will bid; however, some companies may undertake it out of other considerations.
According to the tender documents of the Transport Department, the proposed "Tseung Kwan O (South) - Sai Wan Ho" ferry will operate daily, providing services from Tseung Kwan O to Sai Wan Ho from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm daily; services from Sai Wan Ho to Tseung Kwan O From 7:30 am to 9:30 pm every day.
The two boats also leave at least every 45 minutes, the voyage distance is about 5.3 kilometers, and it takes no more than 30 minutes.
In terms of boarding and disembarking locations, Tseung Kwan O South is located at Tseung Kwan O South Terrace of Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park; Sai Wan River Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter No. 2 Landing Step.
The tender document also mentioned that the vessel must provide a passenger capacity of no less than 40 people and must be equipped with an Octopus charging device.
Proposed Level of Service of the "Tseung Kwan O (South) - Sai Wan Ho" Route (Tender Document of Transport Department)
Fang Guoshan invited the ferry company to try a similar route in 2020, but passed through the Cannes area on the way.
She said that it took about 35 minutes at that time, and she believed that the proposed new line could indeed reach the destination within 30 minutes.
She also pointed out that there are many Tseung Kwan O residents who work and attend classes in the east of Hong Kong Island. I believe there is a certain demand; and now the Tseung Kwan O Bridge has been opened to add tourism elements in the area. In addition, the route will pass under the Cross Bay Bridge. I believe There is a certain attractiveness.
Ferry company: The industry has no intention of undertaking
However, Zheng Jinghua, head of Coral Sea Shipping, is not optimistic.
Coral Sea itself also provides shipping services at Sai Wan Ho. She thinks that the route is not attractive. When the tender documents were announced yesterday, they discussed with 11 companies in the industry, but none of them intend to undertake it. She described the route as "hard".
She continued to point out that before the bidding, the Transport Department never consulted the industry and did not understand why the route was launched.
She also said that the cost of shipping is high and it is difficult to hire a captain. From the perspective of passenger transport business alone, no company will bid; but there may be other companies that are finally willing to undertake it due to different considerations.
Fang Guoshan said that according to her understanding, there are operators who are interested in entering the bid, and pointed out that when the route was first conceived, it happened that Sai Wan River had a suitable wharf for boarding and disembarking.
She also pointed out that the traffic in the Tseung Kwan O area was paralyzed after the failure of the MTR before. It is necessary to consider the development of waterways. I believe that there will always be a certain demand for this route. Even if there is a loss at the beginning, after a period of publicity and operation, it may be profitable.
In addition to the "Tseung Kwan O (South) - Sai Wan Ho" kaito, the Transport Department is also inviting tenders for the "Sai Kung - Liang Shuen Wan - Kau Sai Tsuen" route, which is also expected to start in the second quarter of this year.
The document shows that the line only operates on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and the departures from Sai Kung are at least three times a day, with the earliest starting at 9:00 am.
The boat journey is 26.8 kilometers and takes 125 minutes. The boat to be used must provide a passenger capacity of not less than 40 people.
Proposed Level of Service for the "Sai Kung - Leung Shuen Wan - Kau Sai Tsuen" Route (Tender Document of Transport Department)
Fare increase｜From 3.5 to 36 yuan for adult visitors on the ferry between Central and Ma Wan Ferries from Central to RMB 36 The increase is more than 30% New ferry fares for outlying islands in February are discounted for the third line Ordinary seats are reduced by 5.6% to Cheung Chau and by more than 6% to Mui Wo Water Taxi West Kowloon｜1.14 Launched Tsim Sha Tsui-East Circular Route to West Kowloon, limited to $100 on Saturdays, Sanmenzai to and from Lai Chi Wo and Kat O and other villages water bus, the most expensive 80 yuan water taxi will be launched from now on trial | Added Central to Tai O route and return tickets on Sundays Asking price 130 yuan