Hong Kong bus companies are gearing up to provide stiff competition for ferry businesses crossing the Pearl River estuary once the multibillion-dollar bridge to Macau and Zhuhai opens, providing a cheaper way of getting to the nearby cities.
And the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge – scheduled to open later this year but with no date set – could particularly harm the business of ferries to Zhuhai, a legislator said.
Alan Chan Chung-yee, managing director of Chinalink Express Holdings, revealed the new business plans of its parent company Kwoon Chung Bus recently, days after the bridge authority announced it would charge 200 yuan (HK$230) per coach for each crossing.
It will run 24/7 coach services to Zhuhai from different spots across Kowloon and Hong Kong Island every 15 to 30 minutes. Daytime trips will cost HK$120 and nighttime trips HK$140.
That is up to 45 per cent cheaper than the existing ferry services from Tsim Sha Tsui and Sheung Wan, which charge HK$220 per trip. A single ferry trip takes about 70 minutes and the ride is available at intervals of about two hours at each pier.
A coach trip to Zhuhai usually takes about two hours. That will be cut by 30 to 50 minutes after the bridge opens, though the prices will be about the same as before.
“The ferry [business] to Zhuhai will probably go quiet” pro-Beijing lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said.