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Hong Kong’s Star Ferry to keep on steaming

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Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry will keep giving tourists one of the best views of Victoria Harbour and providing residents reasonably priced cross-harbour transportation with the extension of its franchise rights for another 15 years.

The 120-year-old Star Ferry Company will continue running eight ferries between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, as well as Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui, until March 31, 2033, but as part of its new deal, will have to put in some upgrades to its services, the South China Morning Post reported.

In efforts to cut harbour pollution, the company has pledged to spend HKD56m to retrofit its vessels with low-emission systems that would cut emissions by 75% and fuel consumption by 8%. The company would also consider introducing electric ferries.

It will also offer free Wi-fi service in waiting areas at its piers and boost staff training to improve standards in English and Mandarin, while continuing with efforts to diversify its services to attract more tourists.

In addition to being a quintessential Victoria Harbour icon, the ferry in an important part of Hong Kong public transportation system. There were some 53,000 passengers per day between 2008 and 2016.

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