A new time-based tunnel fee structure will see Hong Kong motorists pay up to twice as much for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel during rush hour, while tolls for off-peak periods will drop to HK$20 for all harbour links, including for the most expensive route – the Western Harbour Crossing.

Cross-Harbour Tunnel
The Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Photo: GovHK.

The arrangements for the city’s three harbour crossings were announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The time-based structure will come into effect within the year, Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said. Ahead of that, from August 2, the fees for the Cross Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Harbour Crossing will increase from HK$20 and HK$25 respectively to HK$30.

Meanwhile, the Western Harbour Crossing – which is currently HK$75 – will be reduced to HK$60.

tunnel fee presser
Government officials meeting the press on the new tunnel fee arrangements on March 22, 2023. Photo: GovHK.

“The toll gap between the [Cross-Harbour Tunnel] and the Western Harbour Crossing has been reduced from the existing HK$55 to HK$30,” Lam said, adding that it is hoped more people would be encouraged to use the Western Harbour Crossing to relieve traffic at the other two tunnels.

Three time periods – peak, off-peak and normal

Under the new time-based fee structure, tolls for the three harbour crossings will vary depending on whether motorists are driving at “peak time,” “normal time” or “off-peak time.”

Peak time will be between 7:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., and in the evening from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Off-peak time will be from 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. the next day.

The hours not falling within the peak and non-peak time will be considered normal periods.

Cross-Harbour Tunnel
The Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Photo: GovHK.

During peak times, the Western Harbour Crossing will cost HK$60 while the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and Eastern Harbour Crossing will be HK$40. The new rush-hour toll for the Cross Harbour Tunnel represents an increase of double compared to the current fee.

During normal and off-peak times, the tolls for all tunnels will be standardised at HK$30 and HK$20 respectively.

In between time slots, tolls will gradually increase and decrease at increments of HK$2 every two minutes, an arrangement Lam said was aimed at discouraging motorists from speeding to make it in time for the lower fees.

The toll for motorcycles will be set at 40 per cent of private cars. Other vehicles will not be subject to the time-based structures – taxis will pay a fee of HK$20 regardless of the tunnel or time, while buses and trucks will pay HK$50.

The arrangements will be discussed at the Legislative Council next week, Lam said.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.