New ferry terminal in 3 yrs: developer
2013-December-5 Source: Szdaily web edition
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A new ferry terminal at Shekou Port will be completed within three years, according to China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Co.

A cruise ship center and new terminal will be built in the area of the existing ferry terminal, according to a development plan reported yesterday by Shenzhen Special Zone Daily. Whether the current terminal would be able to remain open during construction of the new facility, or if an interim location would be needed, was unknown.

The existing ferry terminal recently has been criticized as aging and outdated, in sharp contrast to many residents’ excitement about the sparkling, if crowded, new terminal at Shenzhen International Airport.

Shekou’s ferry terminal is more than 30 years old. People have complained about the two-story terminal’s limited space, lack of an escalator, inconvenient links to transportation and insufficient food services.

An unidentified passenger who uses Shekou ferry services frequently said the terminal’s waiting hall is routinely filled to overflowing on weekends. Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to stand and people have to wait in the public square outside the terminal’s entrance, the passenger said.

A Dongguan native surnamed Zhang said he often takes ferries to Hong Kong from the terminal but there is no long-haul bus service there, so each time he returns from Hong Kong he has to take a city bus or Metro train to downtown Shenzhen and then transfer onto a bus to Dongguan.

“It takes a long time and is very inconvenient,” Zhang said, adding that there is only one Western-style restaurant at the ferry terminal.

“The variety is limited and prices are expensive. A plate of fried rice noodles sells for 50 yuan (US$8.20),” Zhang said.

A plan for a new ferry terminal was made and approved in 2007 but no steps have been taken since then, according to recent reports by local Chinese-language media.

Yang Qin, a local lawmaker, said construction of the new terminal should be given priority in the area’s development.

Residents said ferry terminals in surrounding cities, such as Hong Kong and Zhuhai, have kept pace with the times.

The terminal at Jiuzhou Port in Zhuhai, for example, has been renovated several times. Its waiting hall has been enlarged and now includes two slow-moving escalators.

Hong Kong’s central ferry terminal has two escalators and six elevators.

Both of those terminals provide connections to long-haul buses and offer several chain restaurants.

(By Martin Li, Zhang Jiana)

Editor: 张斯
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