DAB Legislative Councillor Ben Chan pointed out that although the Anti-epidemic Fund allocates $3.23 billion to support the transportation sector which is one of the first and hardest hit sectors, it does not cover cross boundary transportation. Therefore, on February 20th Ben Chan arranged a meeting with Under Secretary for Transport and Housing Dr. Raymond So along with representatives from Hong Kong Guangdong Boundary Crossing Bus Association Limited and Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises.
Ben Chan said that it was tantamount to suspending the industry when the government announced the implementation of a 14-day mandatory quarantine. The representatives from the industry put forwards the following demands for Dr. So.
1) Increase the subsidy for cross boundary coach operators
Provide a one-time subsidy of around $150,000 to $200,000, depending on the size of the vehicle, for each A05 (international passenger service) vehicle to cover their operational costs.
2) Provide a one-time $4000-$5000 insurance fee subsidy.
3) Enhance the support for cross boundary ferry
Exempt or reduce corresponding fees collected from operators, such as terminal facilities rentals, management fees, system maintenance fees and royalties when ferry service are suspended. Provide subsidies to cater the salary expenses for employees and ship bottom cleaning fees after resuming services.