Traffic congestion in major thoroughfares is expected to worsen after the Federation of Bus Industry Trade Unions told its drivers not to allow passengers to alight until after their buses have come to a complete stop inside the bus stop area.
The federation, which is under the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, issued the statement on Sunday after traffic policemen issued traffic violation tickets to three bus drivers outside the Jardine House in Central for stopping outside the bus stop zone, Apple Daily reports.
The incident fueled widespread discontent among bus drivers, who posted messages on their WhatsApp group on Sunday to hit out at the police.
Federation chairman Lam Kam-piu said bus drivers are not to blame for not being able to stop their vehicles within the bus stop zone as the area is often obstructed by other vehicles such as taxis and cargo trucks, while police officers allegedly turn a blind eye to such traffic violations.
Lam said that on one occasion he had to help a bus driver call the police as his bus could not stop near the sidewalk to pick up a wheelchair-hound passenger since the area was obstructed by other vehicles.
When they arrived, the police officers helped the disabled passenger get onto the bus but did not accost the drivers of the illegally parked vehicles, Lam said.
The federation said it will liaise with the Transport Department and the police to find ways to address the problems.
In order to protect their ranks, the federation asked that bus drivers, starting on Monday, only allow passengers to get on and off their vehicles after they have properly stopped within the bus stop zone.
The group said such measures will inevitably result in delays for passengers, which is why it is asking for the understanding of the public.
Spokespersons for New World First Bus and CityBus said company officials were set to hold meetings with the Transport Department and the police on Monday, and called on their drivers to remain calm, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Legislator Cheng Chung-tai uploaded a photo on his Facebook page showing a long queue of buses at the Hung Hom Cross Harbour Tunnel Toll Plaza at around 9 a.m. on Monday.
At least three lanes out of four were occupied by buses which were waiting to enter the bus stop zone, resulting in traffic congestion.
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