A picture of a KMB bus driver taking a nap by balancing himself across railings at a Kowloon Motor Bus station is making the rounds of social media.
But behind the amusing acrobatic stunt lies the sad truth about bus drivers not getting enough rest during their work day, news website hk01.com reports.
As the picture spread across the internet, many netizens wondered how he was able to pull off the seemingly impossible posture, or if he was able to rest at all, Headline Daily reported.
Some said he resembles the character Yang Guo in Jin Yong’s martial arts novel The Return of the Condor Heroes, while photoshopped versions of the bus driver doing yoga have also been circulated online.
On its Facebook page, the KMB used the online fuss about the sleeping employee to recruit more bus drivers.
But netizens took advantage of the feed to ask why there is a lack of facilities where its drivers can take a rest in between shifts.
KMB Staff Union chairman Lee Kwok-wah said bus drivers are sometimes given shifts that are only hours apart so they make use of the time to take forty winks.
And because the rest facility at the station cannot accommodate all the personnel wanting to take a quick rest, many personnel choose to walk around the premises or take a rest anywhere nearby.
Lee said many drivers find it hard to rest when there are only two or three hours left before the next shift, especially when the rest area at the station is crowded.
“The rest station can only be occupied by three to four bus drivers at most and that’s also where they have their lunch,” he said.
“They will have to figure out for themselves where they want to go while waiting for their next shift.”
Most of the time bus drivers look for an empty bench to rest under less than ideal conditions.
He said the weather can also greatly affect their rest time, adding that many prefer to stroll in nearby malls in summer and stay inside the bus during winter.
Citybus drivers also face similar difficulties, noting that not all rest stations have toilets while the limited space cannot allow all personnel to rest at the same time.
The Chi Fu Fa Yuen bus station is said to be the worst as it does not even have any space for the drivers to rest.
Responding to media enquiries, a KMB spokesperson said management is working hard to enhance the working environment of employees.
The company has provided rest stations with microwave ovens, refrigerators, air-conditioning, television units and furniture to enable drivers in between shifts to rest and feel more comfortable.
A Citibus spokesperson said the company has provided resting areas for bus drivers at suitable sites, adding that management and union officials meet regularly to improve the employees’ working conditions.
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