A bridge too far for buses

Local | Phoenix Un and Cindy Wan 29 Oct 2018

More than 1,000 travelers had to queue for two hours before they could board buses to cross the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge yesterday.

It was the first weekend since the mega bridge opened, posing challenges to cross-border bus services.

Operators appeared incapable of handling the increased passenger loads, prompting fury among travelers.

About 300 to 400 travelers decried their long wait on Macau and Hong Kong sides to board the mostly single-deck buses.

A Hongkonger, Jade Chen, started queuing in Zhuhai at 11am was only able to board at about noon.

"The bus company said there would be a bus every 15 minutes but that was not the case, and we waited without knowing when we could return home," Chen said. "It was totally out of my expectations."

The situation worsened from 6pm as about 1,000 travelers queued up in Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.

Some tourists from Macau said they queued up for about two hours on the Hong Kong side but were unable to get on buses to return home.

The same delay was experienced by those who took buses from casino resort Galaxy Macau to Prince Edward in Kowloon, with travelers having to wait for an hour before buses arrived.

As of 6pm yesterday, a total of 2,080 vehicles with 40,832 travelers had crossed the bridge. The number was way below expectations in 2008 of between 9,200 to 14,000 vehicles and about 50,000 to 70,000 daily travelers.

On Saturday, 58,710 people went through Hong Kong customs and used the bridge, marking the first time the 2008 estimate was reached.

In contrast, the number of travelers on each of the first three days only ranged from about 31,559 to 38,457.

The number of vehicles was way below the 2008 expectations as only 2,700 vehicles crossed the bridge. A total of 2,474 vehicles used the bridge on Wednesday, the opening day, but the numbers fell below 2,000 on Thursday and Friday.

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