Cross-border buses to increase trips

Local | Cissy So 13 Sep 2018

Cross-border bus operators plan to offer 350 trips a day between Hong Kong and Zhuhai after the launch of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge later this year.

They are also going to offer 50 trips to and from Macau.

Kwoon Chung, one of the cross-border bus operators, plans to make 200 of the 350 daily trips between Hong Kong and Zhuhai.

The bus company yesterday said it would significantly increase the number of buses running to Zhuhai after the bridge's opening.

There are currently four to five bus trips a day between Hong Kong and Zhuhai.

The passenger volume of cross-border buses is expected to increase substantially so trips from Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau will soar.

Alan Chan Chung-yee, vice-chairman and secretary general of China Hong Kong Macau Boundary Crossing Bus Association, said that the effect of commissioning the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link for cross-boundary buses was limited, as the XRL fares were more expensive compared to the buses' fare. He estimated the effect on passenger volume would not be more than 0.5 percent.

He said that cross-boundary buses fare would be around HK$130 each way which is cheaper than taking the ferry which costs HK$220, attracting people to the buses.

"Compared to taking the ferry, people have to get on and off at specific piers, but for cross-boundary buses, we will be providing intermediate stops for the convenience of passengers, such as Tseung Kwan O, Kwun Tong, Ngau Tau Kok, and more," he said.

As the bridge will operate for 24 hours, Kwoon Chung will also be providing night services which would take around 30 minutes per trip.

"However, the biggest impact of the XRL on cross-boundary buses would be losing business passengers from Guangzhou South," Chan said.

"It only takes around 40 minutes between Hong Kong and Guangzhou whereas the cross-boundary buses take two and a half hours. It is predictable that for those who want to save time would prefer XRL," he added.

Chan hoped that tourists could travel to four places: Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau and Zhuhai to boost local consumption.

A cross border coach passengers survey of 1,008 people done earlier this year, found Hong Kong citizens focused on the frequency of bus trips the most, while mainlanders focused on the convenience of bus routes.

cissy.so@singtaonewscorp.com

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