Iconic Star Ferry will suffer if bus terminal is relocated
20 June 2009
South China Morning Post

I have joined the One Person One Letter campaign that was organised by Our Bus Terminal, a civil group concerned about the future of the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry public transport interchange.

The government has announced a plan to turn the bus terminal into a piazza with a five-storey shopping mall.

Even though a spokeswoman for the Tourism Commission said the piazza plan was supported by the Yau Tsim Mong District Council and the tourism industry, our government should think twice before destroying the terminal and turning it into a soulless, open space.

As we all know, the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry bus terminal has been in use since 1921. It was the first of its kind in the city.

The scene of double-decker buses in front of the clock tower and the Star Ferry Pier have been a symbolic landscape of Hong Kong since 1949.

What is the reason for destroying an existing landmark to build another one?

What is more, the relocation of this bus terminal will kill off the Star Ferry, which is the icon of Hong Kong. The bus terminal is so convenient for people getting off the boats, and this helps the Star Ferry maintain a high rate of passenger usage - an average rate of 45,000 passenger trips per day.

I believe that if the bus terminal is relocated, the number of passengers using the Star Ferry will go down. This could force the Star Ferry Company to increase fares again.

If it was forced to do this, then a lot of local commuters might opt for other forms of public transport. Is this really what we want to see?

The existing transport interchange is already a public space. Many activities are held in the areas around the interchange, without tight restrictions, including street performers and charity fund-raising events.

If this area is turned into a piazza with a five-storey shopping mall, will people be allowed to continue with these activities?

We need to preserve our historic landmarks.

The government must think carefully before deciding to destroy this bus terminal.

Charlie Chan Wing-tai , Sha Tin

 

(上次更新: 2009-07-13)

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