Date
21 November 2018
Passengers stand in a long queue (inset) at route B6 stop near the Tung Chung MTR Station as they wait for buses to take them to the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Photos: Xinhua, Internet
Passengers stand in a long queue (inset) at route B6 stop near the Tung Chung MTR Station as they wait for buses to take them to the Hong Kong Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Photos: Xinhua, Internet

Bus frequency improved after initial chaos in sea bridge service

Cross-boundary transport services on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) operated smoothly in general over the weekend following an increase in the bus frequencies, the Transport Department (TD) said, also pointing to improved queuing and boarding.

The problems encountered earlier during the first weekend after the 55-kilometer mega bridge opened to the public on Oct. 24 have largely been resolved, the department suggested, while noting the increased passenger numbers.

When the service commenced, there had been extremely long queues at the Hong Kong port of the mega bridge, prompting complaints from passengers.

Among other criticisms, people said the number of cross-HZMB direct buses departing from the city was insufficient to meet demand.

To prevent similar chaos from happening again, the TD allowed more direct buses to pick up passengers on the second weekend that just passed, a move that saw the shuttle bus fleet increase from 120 to 138 with the extra deployment of over 30 additional buses on Saturday and Sunday.

Two direct bus associations also offered the “pre-booked cross-boundary coach service” specifically for tour groups so as to separate them from other passengers, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

In a statement, the TD said that between 10 am to noon on Sunday, the average hourly passenger traffic was about 7,000 and that passengers only waited for an average of about 10 minutes and 20 minutes at the pick-up areas for taking shuttle buses to Zhuhai and Macau, respectively.

From 6 pm to 8 pm, the average waiting time for shuttle buses to Macau was less than 5 minutes, and that of tour groups and individuals for shuttle bus to Zhuhai were about 30 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively, the statement said.

Data from the TD show more than 90,000 people crossed the Hong Kong border of the mega bridge on Sunday as of 8 pm, which marked an increase compared with over 86,000 the previous day and much higher than that recorded on Oct. 27 (over 58,000) and Oct. 28 (over 77, 000).

In related news, Holden Chow Ho-ding, a member of Islands District Council, said he received complaints from quite a number of local residents that passengers waiting at route B6 stop near  Tung Ching MTR Station for buses going to Hong Kong port were too loud and becoming a nuisance.

Tung Chung residents were demanding that the bus stop for the bridge passengers be relocated to a temporary terminus for Lantau buses, according to Chow.

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TL/JC/RC

 

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