LCQ22: Ferry service plying Kai Tak Cruise Terminal
Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, to a question by the Hon Paul Tse in the Legislative Council today (November 12):
It has been reported that the management company of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (the Terminal) and a ferry company have jointly applied to the Government for the operation of a ferry route plying the Terminal, with a view to providing point-to-point ferry service plying the Terminal during the period when large-scale events are held there. A trial run of the service is expected to be conducted within this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the progress of the authorities' vetting and approval of the ferry route application and the expected time for the completion of the relevant procedure;
(2) of the details of the ferry service, including the events during which such ferry service will be provided and whether a minimum estimated visitor flow will be set for the events concerned; as well as the origin, destination, en-route stops, frequencies, sailing time, service hours and fares of the ferry route;
(3) whether it has studied routing the ferry service through sightseeing and shopping hotspots, such as Lei Yue Mun, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central; and
(4) given that the "Wine and Dine Festival" recently held in the vicinity of the Terminal attracted as many as 180 000 visitors, and caused traffic congestion in the area, whether the authorities have, in the light of the experience gained in organising this event, assessed if ferry service is capable of mitigating the road traffic congestion during the period when large-scale events are held at the Terminal; if they have, whether they will amend the ferry route under scrutiny or consider introducing more ferry routes that stop the Terminal en route; if they have not, the reasons for that?
My reply to the four parts of the question is as follows:
(1) The operator of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (KTCT) is planning to make use of a pontoon to be moored to the apron of the KTCT for providing special ferry service on days of ship calls or events. The service would provide an alternative to land transport for bringing cruise passengers and event participants to and from the KTCT. Relevant departments have conducted on-site inspections, and observed trial mooring with the terminal operator and the ferry company to ensure passenger safety and that the facilities and security of the KTCT are not affected by the ferry operation. The trial mooring went smoothly in early November. We will draw on the observations and experience from the trial mooring and endeavour to launch soon, as a trial, the special ferry service for the coming event to be held at the KTCT.
(2) and (3) For the service details and routes of the special ferry service, the event organisers and the shore excursion operators will devise the appropriate arrangements having regard to the nature of the events and demand of the cruise passengers. It is not possible to set out the details exhaustively.
(4) The special ferry service can enhance the connectivity of the KTCT by providing sea access to the terminal, which in turn will improve the attractiveness of the KTCT and its adjacent areas as an event venue. If the above-mentioned pontoon and special ferry service prove to be successful, we will encourage the terminal operator, event organisers and shore excursion operators to make good use of them to support the different events and ship calls.
Ends/Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:01