Date
23 September 2017
Two cruise ships carrying a combined 5,700 passengers are scheduled to arrive at the terminal on Monday. Photo: Bloomberg
Two cruise ships carrying a combined 5,700 passengers are scheduled to arrive at the terminal on Monday. Photo: Bloomberg

Taxi drivers threaten to boycott Kai Tak cruise terminal

A taxi drivers’ union said it will not provide service at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Kowloon when a new berth opens on September 29 to welcome nearly 6,000 passengers.

A spokesman for the 8,000-member union, which is under the Motor Transport Workers General Union, said the boycott seeks to dramatize their demand for better treatment from the Worldwide Cruise Terminals (WCT), the port’s operator, Sky Post reported on Wednesday.

He said taxi drivers are only allowed to provide service at the terminal when ships arrive but are otherwise kept out of the area.

The union also noted that the berths are quite far from the main roads so taxi drivers end up wasting a lot of gas when picking up passengers at the terminal.

It has asked the WCT management to provide incentives for the drivers or divide the routes for more efficient service, but received no positive response, the spokesman said.

Two cruise ships, Sapphire Princess and Voyager of the Seas, are set to arrive on Monday, carrying 2,600 and 3,100 passengers respectively, and arranging for their transport is quite a challenge, Jeff Bent, director of cruise projects at WCT, was quoted as saying.

Bent said his office has been appealing through radio stations for taxi drivers to provide service at the terminal’s new berth. It has also been soliciting help from drivers at gas stations.

Meanwhile, the Transport Department has pledged to arrange the deployment of minibuses to the terminal to meet the expected surge in demand, the report said.

On the taxi drivers’ complaints, Bent said the WCT hopes to hold more discussions with the union.

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TL/AC/CG

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