Super buses are on the way - at a price

KMB's premium buses, which are faster and more comfortable, are expected to start running from the fourth quarter at the earliest.

Amy Nip

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

KMB's premium buses, which are faster and more comfortable, are expected to start running from the fourth quarter at the earliest.

The bus company has submitted two proposed routes to district councillors. The routes are P960, running from Tuen Mun to Wan Chai North, and P968, from Yuen Long to Tin Hau.

Six new buses that have more space, USB charging sockets and wi-fi, will be used for the routes. Passengers will be guaranteed seats as no one will be allowed to stand.

P960 will cost HK$31.20 in comparison to HK$20.80 for 960 running a similar route. However, the duration of the trip on P960 will be 10 minutes shorter than the 85-minute ride on 960.

The route will have two starting points in Tuen Mun - Siu Hong Court from 6.50am to 8.30am and Po Tin Estate between 9.15am and 3.45pm. For buses from Wan Chai, services will run from 10.45am to 12.45am.

As for the P968 route, it will cost HK$35.10 rather than HK$23.40 for the 968. Like the P960, its duration will also be 10 minutes shorter than the 968 route, which takes 78 minutes.

Buses starting at Long Ping Station in Yuen Long will run between 6.50am and 8.30am, while those from Yuen Long West will run from 9.15am to 4.45pm. Buses leaving Tin Hau will run between 10.45am and 12.45pm. The frequency of both routes will be 20 to 30 minutes.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor spoke about the premium bus pilot scheme in her policy address last October.

Lawmaker Michael Luk Chung-hung, who is also a Yuen Long district councillor, said the proposed prices are quite high.

"If KMB has the resources to run new routes, why didn't it put them into existing routes? Why would they do something this redundant?" he said.

The proposed buses only cost more, but do not offer much better services, he said. It would be better to improve service standards for the two existing routes, and increase frequency of buses, he added.

amy.nip@singtaonewscorp.com