LegCo Panel on Transport

Contingency Arrangements for Outlying Island Ferry Services on 1 September 1999


This paper informs Members of the contingency arrangements for the outlying island ferry services when schools commence on 1 September 1999.

Travelling Pattern of Students

2. Based on previous experience and travelling pattern, the majority of the students residing in the outlying islands who study in the urban area take the Central-bound ferries between 5.55 a.m. and 7.45 a.m., while those who live in the urban area but study in the outlying islands take ferries from Central between 7.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. A comparison of the average patronage, the number of students on board and the carrying capacity broken down by individual routes is in Annex A.

3. The morning peak for student demand occurs earlier than the peak for general commuters, and the existing schedules have provided and should continue to provide sufficient spare carrying capacity to meet the demand.

4. For the home-bound trips for students, since they are more wide-spread and occur during off-peak periods, they can be well catered for by the current schedules.

Contingency Arrangements

5. While the carrying capacity provided by the ferry operators should be more than adequate to cope with the passenger demand on 1 September 1999, the Transport Department will closely monitor the situation by keeping close contact with the ferry operators, and the following arrangements have been made.

Supplementary sailings

6. Both HYF and HKK have arranged standby vessels which will be mobilised if necessary to provide supplementary trips from the outlying islands in the morning to meet any unexpected upsurge in demand on the first school day.

Vessels and pier facilities

7. Both operators will take all precautionary measures to ensure a smooth operation on 1 September 1999, including checking the vessels and ticketing machines carefully the night before to ensure that they are in order and will not cause delay to passengers. In case of sudden breakdown in the ticketing system, both operators will revert to manual ticket collection immediately and would be flexible in ensuring smooth passenger throughput.

Inclement weather

8. There are established procedures among departments and the public transport operators for special arrangements during inclement weather, e.g. typhoons, rainstorms, landslides etc. However, for the outlying islands, local wind and sea conditions may affect the normal ferry schedules and vessel deployment. In this respect, close liaison will be maintained among the Hong Kong Observatory, Education Department, Transport Department and the ferry operators to keep the public informed of any special arrangements made which would affect the travelling public, including students.


9. The existing services provided by HYF and HKK provide adequate capacity to meet the demand on school days. The Transport Department and the ferry operators will closely monitor the situation on 1 September 1999 to ensure smooth operation of ferry services on the first school day. In case of inclement weather, close liaison will be maintained with relevant departments to make necessary arrangements and media announcements.

Transport Bureau
28 August 1999