Red buses coming to stop near you

Local | Phoebe Ng 5 May 2017

London-style red double-decker buses will make their debut in Hong Kong this July - the first time Kowloon Motor Bus has introduced red buses since 1949.

In a live Facebook broadcast from a Malaysian bus terminal, a presenter gave a sneak peek of the new Euro V models, which have a red livery, inspired by the KMB logo, and silver decorative details with lightweight paint. There is also an electrocardiogram abstract of Hong Kong's skyline on the top of the buses.

The interior has a warm color tone with a mixture of red, soft apricot and yellow - a contrast to the previous generation, which have seats predominantly in red.

KMB's presenter said the new seats were specifically designed for Asian body types to give better support for the back.

"It was a result of countless meetings with the manufacturer," the presenter said.

One USB charging port has been installed near the wheelchair space as a trial. "If we get good feedback, we may add more charging ports in future," he said.

The presenter also revealed that wireless internet will be available on the buses.

Unlike the rest of the exterior, the roof has a white background and features a red ECG-like outline of Hong Kong's skyline, with "heartbeat of the city" written on it.

"If the roads of Hong Kong are the city's blood vessels, our buses would be the blood streams," the presenter said. "It transports blood to the body 24/7."

It is not yet clear how many of these buses will come on-stream, or what routes they will be running on.

Some netizens were complimentary on the resemblance to London's signature red double-deckers. "KMB has found a good designer," said Facebook user Sam Lam. But one Londoner who has been in Hong Kong for over 30 years said it's "ugly."

The previous generation of KMB buses, introduced in 1997, are ATR1 super-low floor double-decker buses, best known for their champagne gold color.

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