Relocation of Wanchai Pier results in 20% Star Ferry passenger loss – SCMP article
HF: The SCMP of 7th September 2015 contained an article titled, ‘Isolated pier harbours problems for city icon‘. This referred to a 20% drop in passenger numbers at the Wanchai Pier experienced by the Star Ferry Company since the pier was moved to a more isolated location in August 2014.
Operations manager Samson Leung Shui-kin, pictured below right, with Star Ferry Chief Captain, Chan Tsu-wing, said, “We’ve been operating for 117 years… We hope Hongkongers will appreciate our historical value, and we’re trying hard to regain more passengers.”
The company has also struggled to rent out retail or advertising space at the new pier, while a 10,000 sq ft seaview restaurant remains empty.
Mr Leung also said that, “We hope an elevated walkway [across all the highway lanes] can be built so we are more easily accessible to our passengers, but there has been no indication that it will be done yet.”
The article also outlines problems in recruiting new staff. In the next five years a quarter of the 148 sailor staff will reach retirement age, while only two of the 17 sailors hired in the last two years stayed on. Wages at Star Ferry are now about 10 to 20 per cent less than at other HK ferry companies.
Changing the location of the Star Ferry Pier in Central also resulted in a substantial decline in passenger numbers – reportedly down 19%.
See: Wanchai Ferry Pier – Star Ferry SCMP article – 7th September 2015
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