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2017-06-16
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Your Ref.: HAD IS GR/17-40/41/4(5)
To:    Islands District Office (Attn: William HUI)
 
Dear William,
 
Re: Application for Extension of Ferry Service Licence “Central – Discovery Bay”
 
Thank you for your consultation paper.
 
I agree to the licence extension application. However, I believe there is room for reduction of the ferry fares. I would appreciate it if you could request the Transport Department (TD) to produce the accounts of the ferry company (DBTSL) as this is one of our agreements during our meeting with the TD and DBTSL when the latter suggested the “revamp” in 2008.   
 
In the past, DBTSL used oil price increase as the main reason for fare increases. During the last fare increase in 2014 a barrel of crude oil costed US$110. Today, the cost is around US$31. The TD has done very little to protect the commuters’ interest as there is no mechanism to adjust the fares when the oil price drops. I regret that the TD and the Housing & Transport Bureau keep on ignoring the Islands District Council’s suggestion to establish an Oil Stabilization Fund to monitor the ferry fares of the outer islands.
 
Now the Government has implemented the $2 fare concession scheme for the elderly and disabled persons. The price difference is subsidized by the Government using the public fund. The ferry fares not only affect Discovery Bay and other outer islands residents, but the public fund as well. 
 
I now recommend that a mechanism be built in the licence to control the fares in the next renewal in 2018. For the next review of the ferry fare in May 2016, I would expect that the major cost components be disclosed and there should be a review for the possible reduction in fares.
 
Thanks & regards,
 
 Amy Yung
 
Islands District Council Member – Discovery Bay 
21st Floor, Fortune House 
61 Connaught Road Central 
Hong Kong 
Direct Line:  2541 5190 
Telephone:   2541 5166 
Fax:          2541 5660 
E-mail:       awsyung@netvigator.com