Date
26 March 2017
For drinkers worried they won't be able to hire a taxi in Lan Kwai Fong, the merchants' association has come up with a proposal: half-price Kuaidi rides during the upcoming cowboy-themed beer and music festival. Photo: HKEJ, lkfgroup.com
For drinkers worried they won't be able to hire a taxi in Lan Kwai Fong, the merchants' association has come up with a proposal: half-price Kuaidi rides during the upcoming cowboy-themed beer and music festival. Photo: HKEJ, lkfgroup.com

LKF Beer and Music Fest comes with a half-price car ride

How to get home safely while drunk?

The Lan Kwai Fong Association has come up with one solution.

At the 12th Lan Kwai Fong Beer & Music Fest this weekend, it will offer a 50 percent discount to partygoers who hire a vehicle from Kuaidi One, a new luxury car service run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Kuaidi, which emerged as the No. 1 taxi app in Hong Kong after it was launched in September, provides an alternative tp taxis, a common mode of transport for drinkers who are unable to drive their own cars or take public transport.

Lan Kwai Fong is notorious for what are known as “black taxis”, the drivers of which either refuse to take customers (mostly owing to the fear they might throw up after drinking too much), or try to charge their customers (who are mostly drunk) an unreasonably high fare.

Last year, 128 taxi drivers were prosecuted for refusing a hire.

To alleviate the problem of black taxis, the Lan Kwai Fong Association set up a taxi stand at Wellington Street (near retailer Milan Station) on Friday and Saturday a few months ago where passengers can find cabs that will take them.

“Things have improved a lot since,” said Tommy Fung Leung-shuen, director of the merchants’ association.

“We hope the taxi stand and new Kuaidi service will smooth out an old problem.”

He said people need time to be educated to change their behavior.

More than 100,000 local and overseas visitors are expected to show up at the annual festival, where more than 200 types of craft beer from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England and Germany will be served on Saturday and Sunday.

With a Wild Wild West theme, the festival will turn the entertainment district into a cowboy zone, with many participants wearing costume hats and dancing in Wo On Lane, where live band music will be played, and around the area’s street corners.

There will also be about 60 booths selling arts and crafts, fashion accessories and T-shirts and offering shooting games, as well as beer and hot dogs.

A favourite place for after-work drinks and dinner, Lan Kwai Fong has more than 100 restaurants, bars, clubs and shops – including in the new California Tower, owned by Allan Zeman — in Central.

In the wake of falling tourist numbers this year, Zeman said Hong Kong needs new attractions and facilities (such as a third runway) to enhance the city’s competitiveness.

Failing that, other mainland cities will take over from Hong Kong, he said.

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BK/JP/FL

EJ Insight writer

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