I share the pain of losing extensive hours on daily commute to our workplaces, in overcrowded bus compartments driven by profit-oriented bus schedules, not to mention the tiring frequent changes between transportation modes. Here I propose To Strengthen the transportation to three main business areas.
New Integrated Transportation Planning
For Kowloon Destinations
With sufficient population, there should be direct express transportation to access three main business areas, which are Mongkok, Tsimshatsui and Kwuntong.
For Hong Kong Destinations
Hong Kong is still using an obsolete standard to estimate the standee’s capacity. The current international standard should be used. The fleet size serving 962B thus should be increased to lessen the current overcrowded situation.
For Kowloon Destinations
Valid rationale is the key to make progress on transportation improvements. We need stable and direct transportation routes, instead of making the meandering routes with many stops more frequent. I propose to conduct a transportation survey, mapping the local demand to external districts. Using the data, a transportation plan with district express services could be planned.
Stable, neat and reasonable frequency is essential to a successful plan of district express services. If the survey shows the transportation demand is concentrate and sufficient, district express services are favourable. On the other hand, if the demand is dispersed and insufficient, focusing on a single but frequent feeder route is more suitable.
Click to learn more why I feel like the current bus service is not that frequent?
Why I feel like the current bus service is not that frequent?
Some residents may feel that the current bus service, say 52X, is not that frequent as stated in the timetable. Suppose the buses follow the schedule and depart punctually at the terminus, unstable headway situations such as “bus bunching” may occur. “Bus bunching” occurs when two buses of the same route arrives at the same stop at the same time. It may due to the bus route being too long, served by too many buses and/or serving too many stops. In practical, same stops are more popular than the others, say Hong Kong Garden. More boarding passengers leads to longer stationary time. This increases the separation against the bus in front, while reduces the separation against the following bus. This effect accumulates. Larger separation against the bus in front allows more passengers to arrive at the bus stops, creating even a larger gap until the following bus catches up.
One solution is to divert passengers to express services. Take 52X as example again. Lai Chi Kok station and Mongkok are the two major destinations. Suppose “bus bunching” has happened at Hong Kong Garden, and meanwhile the passengers heading for both destinations are 50/50 split, imagine switching one bus to 261B which is an express service to Mongkok. The passenger load on both buses would remain the same while the travelling time is shortened.
For Hong Kong Destinations
962B is already overcrowded, but the standard set by Transport Department to improve service is still not met! A “full” bus does not necessarily imply 100% occupied, because the bus capacity includes the estimation of standees’ capacity calculated using the density of 6 persons per square metre. Look at the following photograph. The calculated standees’ capacity is 35 persons. Even when the bus is full, the occupancy rate is only 88%. According to the guidelines, to reach the standard to improve service, all the buses have to be fully loaded for an hour, while there have to be passengers fail to board throughout the 30-minute interval. Is this reasonable?
Click to learn more the standard set by Transport Department to improve service
Standard set by Transport Department to improve service
For the routes serving full day, Transport Department stipulates the conditions for bus services to be improved. In brief, two situations would trigger an improvement in the service: In the first situation, the bus occupancy rate reaches 100% in a 30-minute interval in the rush hour, which means the bus is full and some passengers could not board. Meanwhile, the bus occupancy rate has to maintain at 85% in the respective 60-minute interval. In the second situation, the bus occupancy rate reaches 60% in a 60-minute interval in the non-rush hour.
The current policy is the result of the interaction of 3 parties: The Commissioner for Transport manages the operation of granted franchises, the bus companies operates the bus service, and the District Council advises the government on transportation as a statutory advisory body.
Although the government must also listen to the public opinion, the opinion of the District Councilor contains statutory weight, which the government accepts from the past experience. Therefore, the sense to the transportation planning is essential.
I will bring the voice for better transportation into the Council.
These are the proposals to be researched in more detail and theorised.
- Commence service to Airport and Sha Tin via Tsing Lung Tau and Sham Tseng
- Divide minibus 308M for a new line departing from Tsing Lung Tau for Tsing Yi.
- Solve the capacity issue of minibus 302
- Provide return trip of minibus 96 from Tsuen Wan West Station
- Improve road traffic at Sham Tseng by providing more car parking spac