1. When was KMB established?
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited was established in April 1933 after obtaining a franchise to operate bus services in Kowloon and the New Territories. In 1992, the Chinese name of KMB was amended from 「九龍汽車(一九三三)有限公司」 to 「九龍巴士(一九三三)有限公司」 in order to better reflect its business nature as a public bus operator while its English name remained unchanged. In 1997, The Kowloon Motor Bus Holdings Limited ("KMB Holdings") was established, comprising various divisions responsible for local franchised bus services, non-franchised transport services, Mainland China transport services, non-transport business (property development, multimedia business, sale of bus models), and internal financial management. The renaming of the company as "Transport International" on 28 November 2005 is part of the Group's overarching vision to become a world-class public transport innovator in the Greater China region.
1. How many buses does KMB have?
As at 31 December 2015, KMB had a fleet of 3,889 licensed buses, comprising 3,717 double-deck and 172 single-deck buses.
2. When did KMB introduce double-deck buses?
In 1949, KMB took the historic step of introducing its first batch of double-deck buses, the Daimler A, to meet the increasing demand for public transport.
3. When did KMB introduce air-conditioned buses?
In 1975, KMB introduced the first single-deck air-conditioned buses to operate on airport routes. In 1988, KMB introduced air-conditioned double-deck buses.
4. Is there any meaning for the English letters used on some of bus routes?
KMB uses different English letters to categorise different bus routes. For example, 'M' and 'K' represent bus routes that provide feeder services for the railways; 'X' represents express routes running on highways; 'R' represents recreation routes that operate only on Sundays and Public Holidays; 'P' represents bus routes that operate only during peak hours or during festivals; and 'N' represents overnight bus routes.
5. Which KMB bus route has the longest journey distance and which one has the shortest?
The journey distance of Route 960B (operating from Quarry Bay to Hung Shui Kiu) is the longest at 51.4 km, while that of Route 273S (operating from Wah Ming to Fanling Railway Station) is the shortest at only 2 km.
6. Which KMB bus route has the largest number of en-route stops and which has the least?
With 143 en-route stops, Route 53 (operating between Tsuen Wan West Railway Station Bus Terminus and Yuen Long [East]) has the most, while Route 71B (operating from Fu Heng to Tai Po Central) and Route 87P (operating from Lee On to Chung On) have only two stops.
7. Can the amount of air conditioning inside buses be adjusted?
The air conditioning system allows adjustment of the temperature and airflow inside buses under different conditions, and passengers can also adjust the amount of air conditioning and the direction of airflow. An air conditioning system equipped with an ambient sensor, which can adjust the temperature inside buses with reference to the temperature outside, has been introduced more recently.
1. What are the factors that need to be considered when KMB introduces a new route?
KMB continually monitors bus services in different regions by conducting passenger surveys, in order to meet the changing travelling requirements of our passengers in line with resource considerations. A 5-Year Plan is consolidated and reviewed each year to set out the Route Development Programme, which includes proposals for new routes.
KMB needs to take into account various factors when considering the development of new routes. These include passenger demand, traffic flow, locations of en-route stops and termini, alternative modes of public transport and routeing. We also need to submit the new route proposal to the Transport Department and seek its approval. All issues concerning cross-harbour tunnel routes, including the introduction of new routes, proposed changes in existing routes, service hours and frequency, are co-ordinated by the Transport Department and discussed with other joint bus operators.
2. How does KMB arrange bus maintenance services?
All KMB buses are maintained in good condition by the company’s service staff. They conduct repairs for minor items daily according to bus captains' reports. Besides undergoing routine daily cleaning and refuelling, every bus has a monthly check-up and attends a minor dock every six months. Moreover, every bus prepared for a C.O.R. and needs to be inspected by the Transport Department annually, in order for its vehicle license to be renewed.
In addition, bus emission levels are checked at monthly inspections and every bus undergoes an emissions test at the minor dock to ensure that the emission level meets the standard.
3. How does KMB ensure that its buses are clean?
Bus compartments are swept in day time at bus terminus and after service in depot everyday and disinfected regularly. The outside of all KMB buses are cleaned by an automatic bus body washing machine every night after they return from service. A thorough cleansing of bus facilities (seats and windows) is conducted once a week, and both the interior and exterior of all buses are cleansed monthly.
Soot filters of air-conditioned buses are cleaned every other week.
4. How does KMB improve the air quality of air-conditioned buses?
Air conditioning is more effective than ventilation in terms of dust filtering performance. According to tests conducted overseas, after the air conditioning has been functioning for 20 minutes, the amount of dust in the air is reduced by 30% compared with ventilation. KMB also introduced electrostatic filters in air-conditioned buses to further improve the air quality inside buses. To provide tighter monitoring of the air quality on board, KMB conducts periodic measurements of CO2 on air-conditioned buses operating on the busiest routes.
5. How did passengers pay their fares in the past?
In the 1930s and 1940s, passengers could ride first or second class, and tickets were issued by a conductor on board upon payment of fares. Starting from the 1970s, KMB’s One Man Operation replaced the requirement for a conductor on board and a coin box was used instead. In the 1980s, Common Stored Value Ticket machines were installed on some MTR feeder buses. At that time, 55 tonnes of coins were collected from coin boxes each day. In 1997, KMB introduced the Octopus system on some of its bus routes. By 1 January 2001, the whole fleet has been equipped with the Octopus system. Nowadays, with the widespread use of Octopus cards for fare payment, the weight of the coins collected from coin boxes has been reduced to less than 10 tonnes a day.
6. How does KMB set the fares of different bus routes?
The fares of all KMB bus routes are decided under a fare scale set up by the Government, based on the nature and journey distance of each bus route. With regard to types, bus routes are divided into Urban Kowloon, New Territories, Cross-Harbour, etc; each type is further divided into urban, urban express, rural, rural recreation, racecourse, special, overnight, etc.
7. How does KMB decide the sectional fares of different bus routes?
About 75% of KMB bus routes are now providing sectional fares. A one-way step down fare system is now generally adopted whereby the fare depends only on the boarding point. KMB takes into accounts various factors when considering the application of sectional fares on different bus routes. These include: 1) passenger demand pattern; 2) financial implications; 3) the fares of other bus routes and the charges of other modes of public transport; 4) the effects on bus operations and 5) the relative costs and benefits to short distance and long distance passengers in terms of fare, frequency, travelling time and comfort.
8. Does KMB provide discounted bus fares to passengers?
Starting from 5 August 2012, KMB and LWB rolled out the Government’s Public Transport Fare Concession Scheme for the Elderly and Eligible Persons with Disabilities. These passengers enjoy a flat fare of HK$2.00 or the current applicable fare, whichever is lower, for each passenger trip on every day of the week. The concessionary fare applies to all KMB routes (except racecourse routes).
At the end of 2015, KMB operated 136 Octopus Bus-Bus Interchange (BBI) packages for passengers.
1. When did KMB achieve ISO 9000 accreditation?
The Service Department at KMB's Kowloon Bay Depot was first awarded the ISO 9002 Certificate in 1995. The Service Department at three other KMB depots, namely Lai Chi Kok, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun, the KMB Bus Body Construction Depot, the KMB Overhaul Centre, and other service and maintenance depots all subsequently received ISO 9002 certification.
KMB was ISO 9001:1994 certified on a company-wide basis in 1999 and was the first public bus company in Hong Kong to achieve such recognition.
When KMB's Sha Tin Depot was ISO 14001 certified in November 2001, it became the first entity in the local bus industry to achieve this environmental management system recognition for provision of bus service delivery, maintenance and repair of buses.
A major achievement in 2002 was the successful recertification and upgrading of all of KMB's ISO 9001: 1994 certificates to the ISO 9001: 2000 version, one full year ahead of the 2003 deadline.
Since 2003, our Lai Chi Kok and Sha Tin Depots have been awarded ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System certification.
In 2009, new ISO9001:2008 certificates were issued to KMB upon the completion of upgrading audits on four certification areas.
2. Has KMB achieved other recognised quality certification?
In 2010, KMB’s main depots, namely, Kowloon Bay Depot, Lai Chi Kok Depot, Sha Tin Depot and Tuen Mun Depot, were once again certified by the Hong Kong Q-Mark Council of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries as having met the Hong Kong Green Mark Standard prescribed under the Hong Kong Green Mark Certification Scheme. This further demonstrates KMB’s commitment to quality management and the high priority accorded to environmental protection.
KMB’s Operations Division was awarded the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 Certificate by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency in August 2012. Not only does this indicate that KMB’s occupational health and safety management system has reached international standards, it also represents a milestone in the Company’s endeavors to enhance its safety performance.
1. What does "environment-friendly bus fleet" mean?
"Environment-friendly bus fleet" refers to those buses which are equipped with Euro I, Euro II, Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V Standard engines or with catalytic converters, all of which improve the quality of exhaust emissions. KMB is acknowledged as a pioneer of the latest green engines. Since 2006, the company have introduced Euro IV and Euro V engines buses to the market.
From 2006, KMB is progressively installing Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) on 1,689 Euro II and Euro III buses to upgrade their exhaust emissions to Euro IV/V standards in terms of particulate matter. The entire project has been completed in 2010. At that point, the average particulate emission levels of the entire KMB bus fleet will be reduced by 92% compared to 1992. At the 31 Dec 2015, KMB had a total of 3,889 buses, all of them meeting the stringent exhaust emission standards of the European Council of Environmental Ministers. In February 2009, KMB introduced Asia’s first double-deck bus with a Euro V engine, which meets the latest and toughest emission standards, contributing to a cleaner environment.
In 2014, KMB introduced Hong Kong’s first environment-friendly Euro VI engine hybrid double-deck bus “hBus”. Funded by the Environmental Protection Department, the hBus is a 12-metre 3-axle air-conditioned double-deck bus with a diesel-electric “Hybrid Series” propulsion system, allowing fuel saving of up to 30% while reducing the emission of major pollutants, such as PM by 50% and NOx by 80% compared to Euro V standards.
2. What is the difference between Euro I, Euro II, Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V Standard engines?
Euro I, Euro II, Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V Standard engines are all environment-friendly engines, which conform with progressively more stringent regulations laid down in Europe. The emission levels of the different types of engines are listed below:
Exhaust emissions (gram per kw/h)
3. What are the characteristics of the Euro V bus engine?
In comparison with Euro IV engines, the Euro V engine excels in reducing the emissions of nitrogen oxides. The emissions of nitrogen oxides in the Euro V engine are reduced from 3.5 grams to 2 grams (in terms of kilowatts per hour), a reduction of 43%, while emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are kept at the same level, 0.02 gram, 1.5 grams and 0.46 gram, respectively. Since the accumulation of nitrogen oxides can lead to photochemical smog, which causes irritation to the respiratory system and poses a health hazard, it is particularly important to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides.
The Euro V engine is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalytic converter, which sprays a 32.5 urea solution into the exhaust gases. Ammonia formed from the urea triggers a chemical reduction reaction with the nitrogen oxides, converting them into nitrogen gas and water vapour. To meet the stricter emission standards for nitrogen oxides, the urea injection of the Euro V engine increases to around 5.5% from 4.5% in Euro IV engines.
In addition, the Euro V engine is equipped with a new generation monitoring system, namely the On-Board Diagnostics Stage II (OBD II), which is installed in the exhaust pipe. By monitoring whether the emissions of nitrogen oxides meet the Euro V standard, the system enables maintenance staff to check the emission performance of the engine and rectify any system faults immediately.
By effectively reducing the emissions of nitrogen oxides, the Euro V engine meets the latest and toughest emission standards in the world, contributing to a cleaner environment.
4. Besides the engine, what other environment-friendly features can be found on KMB buses?
Many features on KMB buses, including the passenger seats, the air-conditioning system and the air filters, are durable, which reduces maintenance costs and accords with the principle of environmental protection.
1. How many bus shelters does KMB have?
At the end of 2015, the total number of KMB bus shelters was 2,519.
2. What is an environment-friendly bus shelter?
The roof of the environmentally-friendly bus shelter is made of a special material. Made from polycarbonate and reinforced by a special ultraviolet-resistant surface treatment, the roof insulates against a large proportion of ultraviolet radiation, as well as providing noise and thermal insulation for passengers.
3. Why doesn't KMB build bus shelters at all bus stops?
Every year, KMB develops a bus shelter construction plan, and bus shelters are built in sequence according to the number of bus routes serving different districts and the number of passengers. The details of the construction plan, including the position, design and the materials of the bus shelters, are subject to the approval of the Transport Department and other relevant Government departments. In places where utility facilities, such as water pipes and electrical pipes, are located beneath the pedestrian path, bus shelters cannot be constructed.
1. What is "Estimated Time of Arrival" (ETA)?
KMB developed its own ETA system, providing passengers with real-time bus information on the mobile phone app / KMB website to facilitate journey planning. The ETA system shows the estimated arrival time of the next three buses arriving on a route in the next hour, or fewer if applicable.
2. How does ETA system work?
The ETA system uses the on-board GPS tracking device to track bus locations on a real-time basis and, factoring this in with relevant route conditions/patterns, provides the estimated next bus arrival time. If the GPS signal is interrupted by factors such as high-rise buildings and tunnels, the ETA system will use historical data to estimate the next bus arrival time until the signal is recovered.
3. How can I access ETA information?
Method 1 – Download the KMB/LWB mobile phone app on your iPhone or Android phone:
(Left) Open the KMB/LWB app and the estimated arrival times of all nearby bus routes will be displayed on the landing page. (Right) Passengers may input their chosen route and direction, and click on the required bus stop to obtain the estimated arrival times of the next three buses arriving in the next hour, or fewer if applicable.
Method 2 – Go to KMB or LWB website:
Enter the route number in “Estimated Time of Arrival” field in the upper left corner of the KMB website. After choosing the route direction and bus stop, estimated arrival times of the next three buses arriving in the next hour, or fewer if applicable, will be provided.
Method 3 – Four bus interchanges (Tuen Mun Road, Tai Lam Tunnel, Tate's Cairn Tunnel and Tsing Sha Highway) and some bus stops have screens showing the estimated arrival time of buses observing the stops. We plan to install screens progressively at all bus stops with an electricity supply.
4. How accurate is ETA in terms of its arrival time estimation?
ETA provides real-time information by tracking the present location of buses. However, the travelling time of buses varies according to the conditions (e.g. congestion, accidents and delays). The ETA system will update and adjust the estimated arrival time to reflect traffic conditions. Therefore, the shorter the interval between query time and arrival time, the more accurate the estimation is likely to be. Passengers are advised to keep track of updated arrival times and arrive at the bus stop in good time.
5. What is the reason for a sudden change in prediction time when repeating the query?
The ETA system will update and adjust the estimated arrival times according to the traffic conditions. Therefore, the shorter the interval between query time and arrival time, the more accurate the estimation is likely to be. Passengers are advised to keep track of updated arrival times and arrive at the bus stop in good time.
6. Why is no ETA information provided or the message “No Information Found” given?
In the following circumstances the ETA service will be unavailable:
- The route does not yet offer the ETA service. This applies, for example, to irregular routes.
- The route is not in service at the time of query. This applies, for example, to special peak-hour departures.
7. Why can’t I find certain bus stops on the mobile app at certain times?
At the moment, only regular en-route stops are provided with ETA information.
8. Why did a bus that was estimated to arrive after an interval of several minutes suddenly arrive?
This may be due to some ad hoc operational arrangements. For example, the bus may have been deployed mid-route to help ease crowding or to replace a bus in the case of an accident or breakdown.
9. Is the ETA service available on all platforms of smartphone app?
Currently the ETA service is available on iPhone and Android phones only.
10. Why is the ETA displayed in the mobile app seemed extraordinarily large (e.g. ETA for all routes showing more than 30 minutes)?
Please make sure your smartphone is set to the correct time zone (Hong Kong Time is GMT+ 08:00). For best results, we suggest your smartphone is set to “Set time automatically”.
11. What do the various “Symbols/messages” refer to ?
2. Why don't bus captains allow passengers to carry bulky goods on board?
Bulky goods may be dislodged while the bus is in motion, and thus cause a hazard to passengers and to the driver. Passengers may not carry goods larger than 0.1m3 or goods which will pose any danger to passengers. Passengers taking Long Win "E/S/N" routes may take on board one piece of luggage with a maximum size of 71x56x26cm (28x22x10 in). Long Win "A" route passengers may carry one piece of luggage with a maximum size of 71x56x26cm (28x22x10 in) and one piece of hand luggage with a maximum size of 56x36x23cm (22x14x9 in) on board.
If the volume of goods is less than 0.1m3, such as a computer monitor, passengers should wrap it up properly before carrying it on board, and should not put it on a seat, but place it where it will not cause inconvenience to other passengers.
3. Why do bus captains on some occasions prohibit passengers from making payment with a large number of coins?
According to the Hong Kong Coinage Ordinance, passengers may not make payment solely by means of coins with the value of 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents when the total amount is over $2. However, bus captains will handle the situation case by case.
4. What can passengers do when they leave their belongings on buses?
When a bus arrives at the bus terminus, the bus captain will examine the bus compartment and cleaning staff will start cleaning the bus compartment. If they find any belongings that passengers have left behind, they will pass the belongings to regulators to register and keep. If passengers realise that they have left behind any belongings on buses, they can call the KMB Customer Service Hotline on 2745-4466, and provide operators with details of the bus route and the travelling direction. The operator will then give the telephone number of the relevant bus terminus to passengers, who can check the status of their belongings with the staff at the bus terminus.
In the event that a lost item is not collected on the day it is lost, the item will be sent to the lost property section. If you would like to make enquiries, contact the lost property hotline 3406 7333 during office hours (Monday to Friday: 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 12noon, except public holidays).
1. How many bus captains are employed by KMB?
KMB employs about 8,600 bus captains.
2. How can I become a KMB Bus Captain?
People who have held a driving license (Category 1 or Category 1 & 2) for three or more years and who have a good driving record are eligible to apply for the bus captain training programme provided by the KMB Bus Captain Training School. The basic training programme, which lasts for 20 days, includes classroom lectures, driving instruction and route practice. Adopting a good attitude towards passengers and other road users is strongly emphasised during training. Those who successfully complete the training programme and obtain a license from the Transport Department will be entitled to become KMB bus captains.
3. How does KMB follow up the comments received from passengers regarding bus captain services?
Whenever we receive comments from passengers concerning the services of bus captains, we immediate notify the relevant departments and interview the bus captain involved. Based on the facts of the case, our Performance Management Section will take appropriate action. The behaviour and attitude of bus captains are monitored on a regular basis.
4. When did KMB commence its apprentice training programme?
The KMB Apprentice Training Centre was set up in 1973 and was renamed the KMB Technical Training School in 1982. Dedicated to the systematic development of professional workers involved in bus maintenance and repair, it is the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. More than 2,000 apprentices have completed the apprentice training programme.
5. How can I become a KMB apprentice?
People who have Form 3 or Form 5 standard, and who have a mission to work in the bus service and maintenance industry may apply to become a KMB apprentice.
6. What are the career opportunities like after completing the apprenticeship?
Upon completion of the apprentice training programme, apprentices will receive a certificate recognised by the government. KMB will consider employing graduates of the apprentice programme as Skilled Workers or Senior Skilled Workers. A Skilled Worker who performs well may be promoted to Senior Skilled Worker, Gangleader or Quality Control Inspector, Foreman, Senior Foreman and Maintenance Officer.
1. How many bus routes are operated by Long Win?
Long Win Bus Company Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group. It was granted the franchise to operate bus routes for Hong Kong International Airport and North Lantau in 1996, and started to operate bus routes travelling between the airport and the New Territories in 1997. As at 31 December 2015, Long Win ran 190 buses.