HK$50 coupons to lure taxis to cruise terminal

Coupons are to be handed out to cabbies who arrive at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to collect disembarking passengers in a bid to attract more taxis to the port, the government said on Tuesday.

From Wednesday, taxi drivers will each get a HK$50 voucher for liquefied petroleum gas, if they arrive at the terminal when passengers are getting off cruise ships.

To avoid unnecessary trips, the cruise terminal operator will announce the cut-off time for the disbursement 10 minutes ahead of when the queue for taxis is expected to clear.

But cabs that arrive at the cruise terminals before the said cut-off time will still receive the coupons, even if no one hires them, the government said.

Taxi drivers will also be notified more promptly of the real-time demand at Kai Tak through an instant messaging platform with the cruise terminal operator, which will share information such as when passengers are getting off ships and how long the queue for cabs is.

Also from Wednesday, a new free bus route 22R – running between the cruise terminal and Kai Tak MTR station – will come into operation at specific times of the day. It is expected to carry 2,100 passengers a day.

There will also be three other free shuttle bus routes to carry some 500 cruise passengers from the terminal to tourist hot spots, including the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier, the West Kowloon Cultural District, Admiralty and Mong Kok.

The new arrangements come after the terminal operator called for more robust transportation to accommodate cruise passengers and tourism authorities vowed to strengthen taxi services at the Kai Tak site.

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