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Hong Kong ferry fares to rise 10%

Hong Kong's Transport Department announced Friday fares for six outlying island ferry routes will rise an average of 10 percent from next month.

To reduce the impact of fare increases on commuters, the department said it had kept the monthly ticket rise to 7 percent, which is lower than the overall average fare increase rate.

It said the HK government was prepared to subsidize the six outlying island routes with up to 120 million HK dollars during the three-year license period by reimbursing operators for vessel maintenance costs, waiving annual vessel survey fees and private mooring fees.

The department also noted that the accumulative inflation rate for the past three years was higher than 7.5 percent, thus justifying the incoming fare increase.

According to statistics by the HK government, an average of 64,000 passengers travel daily between the outlying islands and the city's more-densely populated Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories in 2009.