Buses in Hong Kong

Buses in Hong Kong

Bus services have a long history in Hong Kong. In 2005, five companies operate franchised public bus services. There are also a variety of non-franchised public buses services, including feeder bus services to railway stations operated by the railway companies, and residents' services for residential estates (particularly those in the New Territories).

Types of bus service

Franchised bus

The five franchised bus companies in Hong Kong are:
* Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited;
* Citybus Limited;
* Long Win Bus Company Limited;
* New World First Bus Services Limited; and
* New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited.

Founded in 1933, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB) is one of the largest privately owned public bus operators in the world. KMB's fleet consist of 4,058 buses on 402 routes and a staff of over 12,000. In 1979, Citybus began its operation in Hong Kong with one double-decker, providing shuttle service for the Hong Kong dockyard. It later expanded into operating a residential bus route between City One, Shatin and Kowloon Tong MTR station. New World First Bus Services Limited was established in 1998, taking over China Motor Bus's franchise to provide bus services on Hong Kong Island together with Citybus. NWFB's parent company later bought Citybus, but the two companies have basically been operating independently.

Non-franchised bus

The non-franchised bus services of Hong Kong are provided by different private bus companies as a mean to relieve the demand of franchised bus and green public minibus in rush hour. They also serve some remote places which are non-profitable for franchised bus and green public minibus operators. According to the Transport Department, there were 7206 registered non-franchised buses in Hong Kong up to 31 December, 2003. Generally speaking, the services are divided into the following categories:

*Residential services: Literally called "Estate bus" (邨巴), providing feeder services between new towns and urban area; it sometimes also operates between the management company of private housing estates and bus companies, as a mean to carry residents from where they live to major transport interchanges.
*Tourist services: Literally called "Travel bus" (旅遊巴), providing transport services for tourists between tourist attractions.
*Hotel services: operated by hotels or by bus companies, providing transport services for hotel customers.
*School services: operated by schools or by bus companies, providing transport services for students.
*Employee services: operated by different institutes or by bus companies, providing transport services for employees.
*Contract hire services: Hired by person or groups for transport services.

Public light bus

The public light buses in Hong Kong are passenger transport vehicles (minibuses) with capacity of 16 passengers, they provide feeder services to buses and railway. According to the law, there can only be 4350 minibuses. They can be divided into two types: red public minibus and green public minibus. Other kinds of light bus services, for example, the Nanny van transports provided by such van owners during 1980s are considered illegal beyond their operation routes.

ee also

* History of bus transport in Hong Kong
* List of bus routes in Hong Kong
* Hong Kong bus route numbering
* Bus loops and terminals in Hong Kong
* Public light bus
* Transport in Hong Kong

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