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Old August 10th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #681
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Old August 25th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #682
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Old August 27th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #683
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Final run for KMB's first woman driver
23 August 2008
South China Morning Post

Leung Wai-yu may be an ordinary blue-collar worker, but her job as the first woman bus driver for KMB has often put her in the limelight.

After 19 years behind the wheel of Kowloon Motor Bus double-deckers, she is doing what some insensitive passengers have told her to do - going back to being a housewife.

Retiring at the age of 60, Ms Leung recalled the days in 1989 when she first joined the male-dominated fleet with 11 women trainees.

"During the first few months, we had to share toilets with our male colleagues at the bus station, sometimes we bumped into them using it and there was often embarrassment."

But the problem was soon resolved and happy memories outstrip bad ones when it comes to her relationship with male colleagues.

"They were delighted to have us around and often invite us for meals, we were like the sugar for their tea," she said.

"But we were always careful not to go out with them alone to avoid unwanted gossip."

Such friendliness, however, was not always displayed by some passengers.

"Some passengers who thought I drove too slow said I should be sent to a home for the elderly, while others told me to get back to the kitchen," Ms Leung said.

"I was very upset at such comments, and thought of quitting at the time, but in the end I just went on."

There may be a perception even nowadays that female drivers are slower than male drivers but a safety-first driving attitude may have contributed to Ms Leung's near-zero record in road accidents.

"I may not be as strong and efficient as my male colleagues, but God bless me, I have never had any serious accidents."

Driving will be history for Ms Leung when she returns to the job she left behind 19 years ago.

"These many years I spent most of my time communicating with my children by writing on a board, now I can finally become a full-time housewife again, although my kids have pretty much grown up."

KMB has 484 female bus captains at present, accounting for 6 per cent of the total driving team.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #684
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good luck in retirement

KMB has 484 female drivers? wow... it is an impressive number...
in Zagreb there are only two female bus drivers...
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Old August 28th, 2008, 11:17 PM   #685
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Buses don't have seat belts for everyone, especially standees. People who complain about her driving style should be grateful for a safe driver.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #686
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A lot of the buses have added an extra handle bar at the front of the top deck, and seat belts are a common sight for the newer buses on the top deck's front seats.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 07:52 AM   #687
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i suppose in hk there aren't many places on road where you can drive like crazy... so i assume buses does drive safely there...

that female driver from my town was crazy as hell... she drove through curves at full speed and with only one hand on driving wheel... and she often had cigarette behind her ear haha... crazy b-tch... but never made any accident...
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Old August 29th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #688
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:31 AM   #689
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Heatstroke fear cited in campaign against idling ban
31 July 2008
South China Morning Post

Taxi, minibus and bus drivers have demanded that the government shelve plans for a law next year banning idling engines, citing the risk of heatstroke in summer.

Representatives from the Motor Transport Workers General Union said yesterday temperatures inside the vehicles could top 40 degrees Celsius within minutes of the air conditioning being turned off.

The union organised for Environment Bureau officials to sit inside an unventilated taxi on July 22, with the temperature rising from 25 degrees to 50 in less than half an hour after the driver turned off the air conditioner.

Union second vice-chairman Chung Lin-wah said overheated vehicles could become "time bombs" threatening the safety of road users and the general public.

"We urge the government to take responsibility for ensuring road safety, as well as a decent, safe working environment for drivers," Mr Chung said. "The legislative plan for a ban on idling engines is unrealistic. It does not consider the particulars of Hong Kong's climate, and the potential dangers to drivers in overheated vehicles.

"Imagine what would happen if drivers should suffer from heatstroke when they are driving. It would be a very violent, bloody picture that none of us would want to see."

He also called on the Kowloon Motor Bus Company to speed up the replacement of its 200 or so non-air-conditioned buses.

Heat was cited as a factor in the death of a man in his 80s on Saturday. On the same day, the driver of a non-air-conditioned KMB bus had to stop driving after being overcome by the heat and called an ambulance.

Even drivers of air-conditioned buses can be affected by the heat. Lam Miu-ling, another KMB driver, felt unwell after getting into a hot bus on Sunday and had to take four days of sick leave.

Chu Pun-din, director of the New World First Bus branch of the union, said more drivers than normal had been calling in sick over the past week because of the heatwave.

He urged bus companies to review staff policies to ensure drivers took adequate breaks in summer.

A KMB spokesman said all its non-air-conditioned buses would be retired by 2012. He also said the company had seen no significant rise in sick leave taken by drivers in the past two weeks.

A New World First Bus spokeswoman said drivers' break times were sufficient.

A Transport Department spokesman said it reviewed companies' bus-retirement plans every year and no bus could be in service for longer than 17 years.

An Environment Bureau spokesman said the government was still analysing opinion from the transport sector and other groups on the proposed ban on idling engines.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:12 PM   #690
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Old October 15th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #691
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Opinion : Cutting back buses to improve air only encourages more cars
29 September 2008
South China Morning Post

The Hong Kong government has for the past few years been keen to reduce the number of buses entering busy streets, because buses with diesel engines contribute to the city's serious air pollution problem.

As I have observed, however, this policy has proved to be seriously flawed.

Reducing the number of buses in busy areas means reducing the number of public transport options available to people wanting to go into and out of these areas.

Also, it has become apparent that the public transport services available in these areas have become increasingly unable to meet the rising demand brought about by new commercial developments.

Anyone travelling on the MTR in peak hours will notice that the network has become much more congested.

Moreover, when the number of buses is reduced, residents in remote areas with no rail services are almost always the ones to suffer.

Due to the absence of direct bus routes running between these newly-developed remote districts and urban areas, commuters will have to pay for feeder services to the rail stations at their own expense.

This inconvenience has thus far discouraged many residents of Tin Shui Wai, dubbed the "city of sadness", from finding jobs in the urban areas.

Ironically, owners of new private housing developments that have been built around new railway stations are often investors who do not actually live in those apartments, or car owners who seldom travel by rail.

Another recent case in point is the rerouting of the only all-day bus that ran between Ma Tau Wai and the Star Ferry, which was always full of passengers. It was originally designed to reduce the number of buses in Tsim Sha Tsui.

At a time when rail services have yet to cover most of Hong Kong, the reduction in bus services will only serve to make Hong Kong's public transport less efficient and encourage more people to switch to private cars.

Charles Lieou, Sha Tin
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Old October 16th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #692
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hey hkskyline haven't seen you a long time

regarding to news... maybe they should replace old diesel buses with those that run on natural gas...
i doubt in a city of that size could few buses reduce pollution significantly... the only ones that suffer from that are regular passengers that choose some other options to travel...
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Old October 16th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #693
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Quote:
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regarding to news... maybe they should replace old diesel buses with those that run on natural gas...
i doubt in a city of that size could few buses reduce pollution significantly... the only ones that suffer from that are regular passengers that choose some other options to travel...
we have been looking at alternate fuel. but diesel is still the only source of power that is powerful enough to run these heavy air conditioned double deckers on hilly roadways that's all over hong kong. hopefully technology will evolve anytime soon to overcome that problem.

indeed, all taxis and majority of mini-buses are running on LPG.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #694
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hmm.. i understand how hills can be painful for pedestrians and for buses too
i wonder if trolleybuses would be helpful... i've seen them running really nicely in Sarajevo and Belgrade uphill...
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:04 PM   #695
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They tested trolleybuses before, and nothing more came out after the tests. I think it'll be very difficult to put up power lines all over the city to make it work, especially when a typhoon can easily blow all that to pieces.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #696
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They tested trolleybuses before, and nothing more came out after the tests. I think it'll be very difficult to put up power lines all over the city to make it work, especially when a typhoon can easily blow all that to pieces.
Citybus tested the electrified trolleybus internally at their former Ocean Park depot a few years back. The plan called to test the bus in real life operation between Lei Tung Estate (Ap Lei Chau) and Aberdeen if everything had had gone right. The bus ran okay in the short circular loop inside the depot, but it was still in doubt electricity is powerful enough to push the fully loaded bus up a 1:10 slope in Ap Lei Chau. And then there was numerous technical problem to install overhead wires and span poles along the route. So the plan ran away after awhile.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #697
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I don't know particularly the area you mention... but San Francisco Trolleybus network knows very well what a sharp slope is... and they are running quite well...
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Old October 16th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #698
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I don't know particularly the area you mention... but San Francisco Trolleybus network knows very well what a sharp slope is... and they are running quite well...
There are plenty of examples of single decked trolley can run on some steep slopes around the globe, not just SF. But there is just no double decked trolley anywhere.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #699
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another option (though it would be less popular) would be to combine most of the buses that travel on the major roads into a single route and encourage people to transfer...

If all the buses traveling on Nathan Road, for example, were integrated into 1-2 routes route at a very high frequency, a lot of congestion in Kowloon could be moved out of the denser urban areas.

But that in itself will not solve the whole problem.

Another question - anyone looking at electric cars or hybrid cng cars?

Cheers, m
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #700
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another option (though it would be less popular) would be to combine most of the buses that travel on the major roads into a single route and encourage people to transfer...

If all the buses traveling on Nathan Road, for example, were integrated into 1-2 routes route at a very high frequency, a lot of congestion in Kowloon could be moved out of the denser urban areas.

But that in itself will not solve the whole problem.

Another question - anyone looking at electric cars or hybrid cng cars?

Cheers, m
Route consolidation was done along Hennessey Road in Wan Chai years back, it has helped to relief the problem. On the other hand, route consolidation is not very popular on the Kowloon side since HK's culture favour a lot more on point-to-point service. But there has been no new bus routes established. New services usually go outside the prime area using an interchange scheme to encourage transfer at certain locations. With such a high demand of bus service, even with what you called "high" frequency, it will be like extreme headway unit in seconds. Don't forget there is still the MTR under Nathan Road as well which is over capacity, too.

In terms of electric or hybrid, HK has whatever alternate fuel vehicles in the market manufactured such as the Toyota Pirus. The government has a tax break towards these types of vehicles to encourage buyers choosing alternate fuel over the traditional gasoline vehicles.
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