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Old October 24th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #981
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Old November 8th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #982
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Opinion : Put green buses in all districts
21 September 2010
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I am in total support of the decision by KMB to try out an electric green bus.

The company says that the bus will have zero emissions. It has leased the bus from a company in Shanghai for six months to see how it performs on Hong Kong's roads, and then it plans to have it as part of the bus fleet.

This super-capacitor system has a number of advantages. It can be recharged in short bursts at regular intervals without damaging the battery. Also, because of the system there is no danger of it running out of electricity while on its route.

Green buses can help reduce air pollution levels in Hong Kong. We have a problem with our poor air quality. Some people are falling ill with respiratory diseases and we need to see a reduction in emissions generated by our traffic.

If these buses are eventually operating in all the districts of Hong Kong, then I think we will see better air.

We cannot ignore the greenhouse effect. Citizens can actually feel temperatures rising in Hong Kong. Widespread use of electric buses can led to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

They are more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels. With the global warming problem getting more serious, we have to take action. We should welcome these environmentally friendly buses in Hong Kong, and I hope that we will eventually see them on all routes in the city.

Ko Chin-hung, Tsuen Wan
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Old November 16th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #983
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More bus terminals will be smoke-free zones from December 1
11 November 2010
South China Morning Post

Smoking will be banned in more bus terminals after an extension to regulations comes into force on December 1.

No-smoking zones will be increased to cover 129 open-air and two covered public transport facilities, according to the Tobacco Control Office. Smoking was banned in 48 covered public transport areas from September last year.

Workers will soon install no-smoking signs and floor plans at the sites involved. A city-wide publicity campaign will warn smokers not to light up in the areas.

Dr Raymond Ho Lei-ming, who heads the Tobacco Control Office, said white lines would border the areas to avoid confusion.

Smoke-free ambassadors would be stationed at the new zones for a month to tell people in neighbourhoods about the new policy.

Ho said up to HK$7 million was spent on the extension to no-smoking areas. The list of no-smoking places and maps are available on the office's website. People can also read copies at the office's resource centre and at the Land Registry.

Some 140 people were fined HK$1,500 each for smoking in 48 covered transport facilities in September. A total of 5,800 fixed-penalty tickets were handed out in the first nine months of the year to people smoking in no-smoking areas. They paid HK$8.7 million in fines.

Of these penalties, 1,630 were handed out in game centres, 980 in shops and shopping malls, 520 in restaurants, 440 in markets, 320 in parks, and 1,900 in other places such as stairways, car parks and public toilets.

There are more than 700,000 smokers in Hong Kong - fewer than half the number 20 years ago. One in five men and one in 28 women smoke.

The Tobacco Control Office is looking at ways to encourage people to give up the habit, including having more no-smoking zones, making shop owners responsible, and raising tobacco duty. Ho said increasing the tobacco duty was the most effective method. "We would like to see the cigarette duty raised next year."
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #984
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:52 PM   #985
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/hpicckcy/my_fav..._2007&page=all





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Old November 28th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #986
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KMB asks for 10 times official rate
27 November 2010
South China Morning Post

A fare rise of 8.6 per cent that Kowloon Motor Bus applied for in July - which if granted would take effect from January 1 - is almost 10 times the amount a government formula shows to be justifiable.

Deputy Secretary for Transport and Housing Rebecca Pun Ting-ting told a meeting yesterday of the Legislative Council transport panel that the fare adjustment formula, taking into account wage and composite consumer price indices for June, gave a figure of 0.9 per cent.

But she said this was not the final figure and was not the only factor the government would consider while assessing the application - soaring fuel prices would be another.

In 2008, KMB applied for a nine per cent rise in fares when the government's indicated rate was 4.67 per cent. Eventually, the administration approved a 4.5 per cent increase.

The company and its sister, the Long Win Bus Company, submitted applications on July 30 this year for fare increases of 8.6 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively. KMB managing director Edmond Ho Tat-man said the fare increase was necessary because of soaring fuel prices, the purchase of 538 new buses, pay rises and increases in operating costs.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #987
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #988
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The CityBus desto is so much clearer, succinct. The KMB desto of the same route looks cluttered. Remember, Less is more!
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 06:07 PM   #989
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Smoking bans at bus stations fare badly on first day
The Standard
Thursday, December 02, 2010





As a smoking ban came into force at 131 bus terminals yesterday, members of the public were still lighting up and pleading ignorance.

Those smoking or carrying a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe at 129 open air and two covered public transport facilities are now liable to a HK$1,500 fixed-penalty notice.

Despite no-smoking signs and maps highlighting the smoke-free zones, many passengers failed to notice and lit up anyway.

A smoker waiting at a bus terminal near Wan Chai pier said he did not know anything about the new rules.

Another traveler thought he could smoke in any open area.

The ban is being implemented in phases with a total of 54 indoor and 48 covered public transport facilities first being affected from January 1, 2007, and September 1, 2009, respectively.

More than 15,000 summonses and 8,000 fixed-penalty notices were issued to offenders from January 2007 to October this year by the Tobacco Control Office.

The Department of Health said it hopes the extension of the smoking ban will further protect the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Separately, at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court a 49-year-old man was sentenced to 80 hours' community service for assaulting a Tobacco Control Inspector and obstructing a public officer in a no smoking area.

The man was found smoking at an amusement arcade in Wong Tai Sin on October 6 and assaulted the officer from the inspection team.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 09:57 AM   #990
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Old December 15th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #991
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Old December 18th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #992
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HK bus companies find the mainland's roads hard going
29 November 2010
SCMP

Although it seems unlikely that there are any businesses on the mainland failing to profit from the booming economy, there is at least one: public transport.

In sharp contrast to the rich rewards being reaped by others who have set up shop to serve the huge mainland market of 1.3 billion consumers, Hong Kong public transport operators who ventured into the mainland have either given up or are struggling to survive under the weight of mounting losses.

But as some players quit, others are still eager to replace them, lured by the mainland's world-beating economic growth and rising consumer affluence.

French giant Veolia Transport for example, is hoping to launch one to two new bus projects and metro lines every year from next year.

Yet according to the Ministry of Transport in Beijing, in 36 major mainland cities, three-quarters of the public transport services - both state-owned and private - run at a loss. Every year they rely on tens of billions of yuan in government subsidies to maintain cheap transport services.

And they are indeed cheap - which is the reason they operate at a loss. From just one yuan (HK$1.16) you can get to most destinations, either by bus or on a metro rail service. And most importantly, since most fares were frozen up to 20 years ago, they have become relatively cheaper as all other prices rise in line with inflation.

Even in nominal terms, some fares have actually become cheaper than the prices set 20 years ago because of the introduction of the "IC card" - a card that, like Hong Kong's Octopus card, offers discounts to commuters.

And during the East Asian Games last year and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, fares fell to zero when the government ordered transport operators to provide free rides for all commuters.

That may be good for commuters, but it means no transport operator can expect to survive without government support.

Reaching a consensus as to the level of that support can be an arduous process and may differ depending on the policies of different municipal governments. The negotiations between New World First Bus (China) and the Kunming government, for example, have not yet yielded a result since talks began two years ago.

"We have been struggling to reach an agreement for the past two years," said Li Junping, financial controller of New World First Bus (China), which holds 51 per cent of the joint venture Kunming New World First Bus. Operator of 55 bus routes in Kunming, the company incurred a record loss of 50 million yuan last year.

"So far we have not had to raise a loan, but we are yet to settle an outstanding bill of 20 million yuan in fuel expenses," said Li.

"Fuel costs jumped nearly 60 per cent over the past three years, yet both fares and the amount of the government subsidy have remained the same."

Kunming's city government last reviewed the subsidy level for the company in 2005, when the fuel price was about 3.5 yuan per litre. The price has since almost doubled to 6.5 yuan per litre.

"There are no benchmarks and guidelines as to the calculation of subsidies. It depends a lot on government policies at the time," Li said.

The group's other bus service in Guangzhou ended last year after the government decided to consolidate different transport operators for easier management before the East Asian Games.

New World First Bus (China) is reviewing its expansion plans in China pending announcement of new transport regulations by the government.

Rival Kowloon Motor Bus also retreated from its service in Dalian because of a change in government policy.

An industry insider who preferred not to be named said that though public transport patronage grew at an amazing rate in China over the past decades, policy inconsistencies and ambiguities were scaring many investors off.

"When a new governor moves in he sets out his priorities. If he favours for example, environmental issues over transport issues, then fewer resources go to the public transport sector," said the observer.

Even when resources were allocated, the good times may not last. "First the government let one state-owned company run a service. Then they wanted to privatise it and introduce more competition to enhance the service. And when there were too many operators and an overlapping of services, the government wanted amalgamation again," the source said.

Before the Shanghai Expo, for example, there were 60 bus operators in the city, and to ensure the smooth enforcement of a number of transport measures for the occasion, the government paid to consolidate the companies into a single operator.

Such policy risks have not dissuaded Veolia Transport RATP Asia - a joint-venture vehicle between Veolia and Paris Metro operator RATP - from entering the public transport fray in China.

"China is important," said Daniel Cukierman, Veolia Transport senior vice-president and Asia chief executive. "When the rules become clear, the future will be bright and it is important to be in this market."

In light of China's rapid development the provision of cheap, reliable and efficient transport has moved up the agenda of the central government.

Earlier this year the Ministry of Transport was ordered to come up with a standardised mechanism for the calculation of subsidies which - on completion expected next month - should apply to all provinces and cities.

"An important change will be that the government no longer subsidises the company, but the transport service itself," Cukierman said.

The mechanism will take into account factors such as fuel costs, fare income and operational expenses including wages and investment in vehicles and rolling stock to determine an appropriate level of subsidy. Cukierman said the new regulation will help transport operators make better plans and forecast more reliably.

"At present you cannot project how much you will earn in five years because you have no idea whether you are getting the subsidy the next year. It is not a scientific business," he said.

This is part of the reason why Veolia has not expanded its transport services in China since it gained a bus project in Anhui and Nanjing two years ago.

"When it comes to transport development, mayors and officials think about building new rail links or buying new buses, because infrastructure generates GDP growth. However, they think less about organisation of the network, or service improvement, which are just as important," Cukierman said.

The venture's bus routes in Nanjing and Anhui are making money so far, thanks to subsidies granted by the Anhui government last year, he said.

The French company last year initiated a HK$200 million renovation of Hong Kong's century-old tramway network after it acquired a 50 per cent stake in the network from Wharf Holdings in April 2009 and bought the remaining half a few months later.

It has also won contracts for Macau's bus services.

Veolia is now hoping to start new bus services in one or two mainland cities a year and is planning to launch four to five metro lines in the next five years. In addition, it hopes to begin operating a tram service in Beijing.

"We will focus on developing transport networks in second- and third-tier cities which don't fall under the control of the big cities," Cukierman said.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #993
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Old December 26th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #994
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Shy new arrival takes journey to happiness courtesy of KMB
24 December 2010
The Standard

Just over a year ago, mainland newcomer Zhong Lichang was always losing her way in Hong Kong.

But after learning how to check bus routes, the 47-year-old mother is now adept at getting around.

``In the past, I didn't know how to get around and seldom explored the city. I was too afraid of losing my way,'' Zhong, who lives in Sham Shui Po, said.

``Some time ago, I wanted to take the bus to Tsuen Wan to go shopping, but instead I took a bus traveling in the opposite direction.

``So when the bus reached its Kwun Tong terminus, I had to get off and wait for the next bus to drive me to Tsuen Wan.''

Such mistakes, she said, used to happen quite often as she was too shy to ask for directions from bus drivers or other passengers.

``I feared they'd look down on me and find me ignorant,'' said Zhong, a migrant from Yangjiang, a southwestern coastal city in Guangdong.

But things have improved recently, partly thanks to a project run by a Kowloon Motor Bus volunteer club, Friends of KMB, which helps newcomers and low-income families explore the SAR and learn more about public transport.

During an 11-month program launched in August last year, the group of volunteers _ comprising KMB staff and their families, as well as regular passengers _ led 70 new migrants to tour the old and new parts of Hong Kong.

The spots include the Tang Ancestral Hall in Yuen Long, serene wetlands of Nam Sang Wai, the Lantau Link View Point near the Tsing Ma Bridge, and Tsim Sha Tsui with its Christmas lights.

Participants were also told how to check bus routes online and by phone, and were encouraged to ask bus drivers for help when needed.

``I've made friends and have become more outgoing,'' Zhong said. ``I will now ask for help when I don't know how to get somewhere. I also go out more often with my eight-year-old son, like visiting Victoria Park. We've never been there before. He has become more cheerful too.''

The Hong Kong, My New Home program has been named the 2009-10 Best Corporate Volunteer Service Project by the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service, which is under the Social Welfare Department.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #995
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Hong Kong only has 22km's of bus lane even though the city suffers from chronic congestion and buses are the most popular form of transportation in the city. This means it is really easy to spot a double decker as they are usually stock in traffic.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 04:09 AM   #996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longershanks View Post
Hong Kong only has 22km's of bus lane even though the city suffers from chronic congestion and buses are the most popular form of transportation in the city. This means it is really easy to spot a double decker as they are usually stock in traffic.
Well, a rail-based transport system is the ultimate and best solution to move large amounts of passengers quickly and efficiently.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 03:09 AM   #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Well, a rail-based transport system is the ultimate and best solution to move large amounts of passengers quickly and efficiently.
What proportion of HK's public transportation is carried by rail vs bus?

What is the planning philososphy for buses? Are they to serve primiarily as feeders to train stations? or are they to cater to some trunk routes also?

Would HK is going for hybrid buses or the ultra-capacitor buses (as in Shanghai)?
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Old January 1st, 2011, 04:08 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horlick97 View Post
What proportion of HK's public transportation is carried by rail vs bus?
Roughly about 40% bus, 40% rail, and 20% others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horlick97 View Post
What is the planning philososphy for buses? Are they to serve primiarily as feeders to train stations? or are they to cater to some trunk routes also?
The traditional philosophy is having bus service as the backbone of a new community, and fit in the rail once the population reaches a certain amount.

These days, rail is the backbone, and the government is trying to regulate and convert the old long distance backbone bus routes to feeder service for the rail. It hasn't been too successful since buses provide a greater and more direct connection between origin and destination without transfer which most travellers prefer, unlike the rail (bus > rail line 1 > rail line 2 > bus etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by horlick97 View Post
Would HK is going for hybrid buses or the ultra-capacitor buses (as in Shanghai)?
It is being looked at and tested right now. No plan to implement yet.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 06:55 AM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horlick97 View Post
What proportion of HK's public transportation is carried by rail vs bus?

What is the planning philososphy for buses? Are they to serve primiarily as feeders to train stations? or are they to cater to some trunk routes also?

Would HK is going for hybrid buses or the ultra-capacitor buses (as in Shanghai)?
You may have some luck finding the transport numbers with the annual transport digest : http://www.td.gov.hk/en/publications...t/index_t.html

In 2009, average daily patronage for franchised buses was 3.8 million, compared to 3.6 million for the MTR.

http://www.td.gov.hk/mini_site/atd/2010/en/s5_p2.htm

Buses are meant to connect areas not easily-reached by the MTR, although all suburbs are now connected by rail. Nevertheless, buses are also meant to offer choice and competition to consumers.

There is talk of bringing in more environmentally-friendly vehicles, but the need to power a double-decker up slopes requires more than the typical hybrid technology out there today. We did hear about a Made in China electric double-decker with a/c a while back. Perhaps one day they will run in HK.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #1000
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