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數碼地圖助尋巴士站

數碼地圖助尋巴士站
17/04/2006



【本報訊】九巴熱線每月平均接獲近五十萬個路線查詢電話,顯示不少乘客在尋找適當巴士線時遇到困難。九巴日前在全港八間顧客服務中心推出「數碼地圖諮詢系統」,讓市民透過立體地圖,輕易查找出身處附近的巴士站及前往目的地的最佳路線。

找出最佳路線
九巴現時有逾四百條路線,車站數目達到五千個,要選出合適的巴士線確實不容易。「數碼地圖諮詢系統」便貯存了全港熱門地標,乘客只要在輕觸式螢幕上選出身處的位置,再輸入目的地,系統便會顯示多條合適的路線資料,包括最短行車距離、行經最少車站、最低車費或最短步行距離而選出最佳路線。

「數碼地圖諮詢系統」不但提供平面路線圖,亦能以立體圖案顯示車站附近的建築物,讓市民容易掌握上車位置及下車後如何步行往目的地。

九巴顧客服務部主管陳碧燕指出,「數碼地圖」原本供熱線中心的員工使用,但自今年初在沙田、美孚及尖沙咀等八間顧客服務中心引入後,已有近一萬人次使用,相當受歡迎,並將考慮把該系統上載到九巴網頁讓市民使用。
 

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KMB's Profitability Drive

KMB property drive doesn't convince everyone
29 October 2006
South China Morning Post



Traditionally, Transport International Holdings, Hong Kong's biggest public franchised bus operator, has been an attractive investment to housewives looking for a stream of generous dividends as regular as double-deckers leaving Exchange Square.

But the company's bread and butter, the 73-year-old Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) unit, has been sputtering due to high fuel prices, rising operating costs, punishing competition from rail services and an inability to raise fares since 1998.

"The profit-and-growth-challenged situation of KMB is unlikely to see any breakthrough in the near future," said Transport's managing director, John Chan Cho-chak.

That is why the company - which is 33 per cent owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties - is counting on growth to be kick-started by its 1,136-unit luxury Manhattan Hill residential development in Lai Chi Kok and, in the longer term, from transport projects on the mainland.

Mr Chan, a transport veteran, said the 1 million sq ft property project at a former bus depot should be on the market in the next few months, pending the government's issue of a sales permit. With unobstructed sea views, Manhattan Hill is expected to be sold at about HK$8,000 a square foot, according to real estate agents.

BNP Paribas Equities analyst Jim Wong, who recommends buying Transport shares, forecasts the new development will generate at least HK$8 billion in sales and a HK$6 billion profit in the next two financial years. Last year, the company had net income of HK$584 million, down 20 per cent compared with 2004, on sales of HK$6.5 billion.

Mr Chan, however, said the company had not yet decided whether to distribute the development proceeds to the shareholders, to reserve the funds for re-investment or a combination of both.

Regardless of Mr Wong's rosy view, investment advisers are far from unanimous about Transport's prospects.

"Not interested," said Cash Asset Management fund manager Kitty Chan when asked whether she might invest in the company.

Ms Chan said that Transport's "core business has been under pressure on high petrol prices and it will lack a long-term growth driver after selling the Manhattan Hill project. And the liquidity of the stock is low".

Indeed, the company reported last month that in the first six months of this year a 28 per cent jump in fuel costs and a 13.4 per cent rise in tunnel fees knocked 53.7 per cent off its underlying profit, to HK$126.7 million.

Mr Chan estimates that every US$1 rise in a barrel of crude oil adds HK$1 million to KMB's operating expenses.

"The last time we raised fares was in 1998, when crude oil cost about US$20 a barrel," Mr Chan said. "Now, prices have gone up to US$70 a barrel."

The company is also leaking business to the city's expanding rail networks. KMB's market share in the public transport market shrank 2 percentage points to 29.3 per cent last year, while the MTR's rose 0.4 percentage points to 25.2 per cent and the KCRC reached 15.4 per cent, up 1.5 points, according to an MTR tally. That showed in the company's operational profits, which slipped 22 per cent last year, to HK$706 million. In its first half report, the company said fare receipts scarcely budged, rising 1.7 per cent to HK$2.81 billion, as ridership slipped 0.5 per cent to 495.7 million passenger trips.

However, anticipating the property windfall, analysts expect the full-year net profit will jump 205 per cent to HK$1.78 billion this year, according to Thomson First Call.

Longer term, the company's fortunes will be riding on its mainland business. In 2003, the group planted seeds in Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuxi and Dalian, investing a total of 624 million yuan so far in public transport ventures.

Profit contribution from China climbed 4 per cent to HK$19 million in the first half of this year, still a fraction of the group's total of HK$195.5 million.

Mr Chan said the joint ventures would seek organic growth and self-financing for further expansion to avoid over-stretching the group's capital resources. "The biggest challenge in China comes from bicycles," Mr Chan said. "We are trying to get more people on buses."
 

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Haha.. when I first read the topic, I was like hot dog... as in food? Then I remember that the nickname for KMB non-ac bus are called "hot dog"... I took one during the summer and it wasn't that bad actually.
 

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A number of the non-AC buses have been sold to Australia and the UK.

There are still non-AC buses in HK. Here is another type I saw recently :

 

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I believe all the non-AC franchised buses will be gone by 2010, as most of those buses are already within the final ages.
 

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There was one Australian sightseeing bus I saw in one thread where it had the Stanley sign on the front. Obviously it was bought from HK
 

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There was one Australian sightseeing bus I saw in one thread where it had the Stanley sign on the front. Obviously it was bought from HK
Australia had purchased a few non-AC buses from HK and converted them to tourist coaches. I've seen pictures of them painted all red and ready for export.
 

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I wish they keep a few "hot-dogs" for short routes on not so hot days. For our collective memory. :p

Actually, I'm surprised the double-deckers are so cheap, only 2.5 million. How much does a Mercedes S500 cost in HK?
 

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The chasis itself is about 600k and the rest 2M are body work, a/c, equpiments and facilities on board. A lot of the time an identical bus can sell at HK$3M for a prototype or oversesa, but Hong Kong bus companies gets bulk order discount since we order so many double deckers at once and so many over the years.

The price can also be varied by choosing different bodies, and what is inside the bus.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
闊身巴士過獅隧存危機
05/07/2008
東方日報



【 專 案 組 報 道 】 每 年 三 百 萬 架 次 巴 士 及 重 型 車 輛 使 用 的 獅 子 山 隧 道 , 被 揭 發 有 「 巴士 撞 收 費 亭 危 機 」 。 事 緣 車 身 較 闊 的 新 型 號 巴 士 或 其 他 重 型 車 類 , 要 使 用 慢 線 自 動收 費 通 道 往 沙 田 , 但 由 於 該 通 道 闊 度 關 係 , 結 果 巴 士 車 頭 擋 風 玻 璃 隨 時 撞 及 左 邊 收費 亭 , 出 現 了 多 條 「 撞 擊 傷 痕 」 。 隧 道 公 司 承 認 該 通 道 在 去 年 發 生 三 宗 涉 及 巴 士 的交 通 意 外 。 沙 田 區 議 會 交 通 及 運 輸 委 員 會 主 席 楊 祥 利 認 為 該 通 道 設 計 過 時 , 應 盡 快改 善 , 否 則 發 生 重 大 意 外 才 補 救 便 太 遲 。

過 收 費 亭 餘 隙 僅 八 厘 米
四 十 多 年 前 已 通 車 的 獅 子 山 隧 道 , 由 九 龍 入沙 田 的 二 號 自 動 收 費 通 道 , 闊 度 為 三 點 零 五 米 。 當 年 這 個 設 計 可 以 容 許 巴 士 及 其 他重 型 車 輛 有 足 夠 空 間 通 過 。 但 由 於 近 年 新 型 巴 士 車 身 愈 來 愈 闊 , 部 分 闊 度 已 逾 二 點五 米 , 再 加 上 車 頭 兩 邊 倒 後 鏡 闊 度 , 全 車 闊 度 可 達 二 點 八 米 , 巴 士 通 過 時 , 兩 邊 各餘 下 約 八 厘 米 闊 度 。

每 天 駕 駛 逾 二 點 五 五 米 闊 長 的 新 型 巴 士 , 行 走 獅 隧 路 線 的 巴 士 車 長 王 先 生 稱 , 在 駛過 該 自 動 收 費 通 道 時 , 必 須 以 直 線 駛 入 , 在 固 有 線 位 上 靠 右 以 慢 速 行 車 才 能 安 全 駛過 。 記 者 日 前 在 獅 子 山 隧 道 駕 車 沿 慢 線 往 沙 田 方 向 行 駛 多 次 , 目 睹 多 輛 巴 士 在 駛 過該 個 自 動 收 費 亭 入 沙 田 時 , 司 機 將 車 速 減 至 極 慢 , 但 亦 有 部 分 重 型 車 , 以 高 於 時 速五 十 公 里 駛 過 該 狹 窄 收 費 亭 。

事 實 上 , 在 二 號 自 動 收 費 通 道 左 方 的 一 號 收 費 亭 , 離 地 約 兩 米 高 、 相 當 於 巴 士 及 其 他 重 型 車 輛 倒 後 鏡 高 度 的 位 置 , 不 鋼 表 面 有 多 條 「 傷 痕 」 , 部 分 更 長 達 逾 半 米 。 反 而 在 出 九 龍 方 向 , 巴 士 須 使 用 的 自動 收 費 亭 , 由 於 路 面 闊 度 達 三 點 九 米 , 鄰 旁 亦 沒 有 其 他 收 費 亭 。
 
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