The Hong Kong Government negotiated with several consortia to adopt the Build-Operate-Transfer model in planning new tunnels in different parts of the city.
In 1986, the government gave New Hong Kong Tunnel the right to run the Tunnel on a 30-year franchise with lease expiring in August 2016. The tunnel features two components, a road part and a rail part:
*The road part of the tunnel is branded as Eastern Harbour Tunnel, although the government refers to the tunnel itself as Eastern Harbour Crossing. The tunnel is governed by the ''Eastern Harbour Crossing Ordinance''.
*The rail part runs between and stations of the MTR . The road part links the Island Eastern Corridor and Kwun Tong Bypass.
The powerful Chinese investment group CITIC Pacific is interested in both parts, controlling the road part and has a 50% stake in the rail part. CITIC also controls 50% of the Western Harbour Tunnel Company.
According to the operator, in 2003, a total number of 26,018,772 vehicles used the Eastern Harbour Tunnel. The average daily throughput was 71,284.
There are many cross-harbour bus routes that travel through the Eastern Harbour Crossing, operated by Kowloon Motor Bus, New World First Bus and .
Detailed bus routes
*Kowloon Motor Bus/New World First Bus: 302, 601, 601P, 641, 680, 680P, 680X, 692, 692P, 802, 811
*Kowloon Motor Bus/: 307, 606, 606P, 619, 619P, 621, 671, 681, 681P, 690, 690P
*Kowloon Motor Bus: 373, 603, 603P, 603S
*New World First Bus: 680A, 682, 682P, 694
*Overnights: N601, N619, N680, N691
In June 2005, CITIC decided to raise the toll for using Eastern Harbour Crossing from HK$15 to HK$25 for private vehicles and up to 67% for other classes of vehicles, under the fare adjustment mechanism derived from the build-operate-transfer model.
The Government of Hong Kong claimed it was powerless to block the toll increase under the BOT model. This has aroused criticisms that the model was detrimental to the public interest, shifting more traffic to the already congested Cross-Harbour Tunnel.