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Hong Kong: Franchised buses ridership and fleet trends [free access]

March 1, 2020

As of December 2019, the bus operations have been outsourced to five operators: Citybus Limited, Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1993) Limited (KMB), New World First Bus Services Limited (NWFB), Long Win Bus Company Limited (LWB), and New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited (NLB). These companies operate buses on specified routes as well as regulate operations and maintenance (O&M). Buses have a vast network and provide connectivity in places lacking direct-rail access. On an average, franchised buses account for around one-third of all public transport trips in Hong Kong. Between 2011 and 2019, ridership remained fairly stable and grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.98 per cent.

 

The table below provides information about the bus ridership in Hong Kong.

 

Table 1: Hong Kong franchised bus ridership (2011–2019)

Year

Ridership (million passengers)

KMB

City Bus Franchise 1

City Bus Franchise 2

NWFB

LWB

NLB

Total

2011

936.36

     196.45

        23.49

     175.16

     30.25

    20.90

   1,382.62

2012

942.89

     202.76

        24.67

      179.06

    31.26

    22.31

   1,402.95

2013

952.81

     208.84

        25.95

182.05

33.18

23.60

   1,426.43

2014

955.24

     209.30

27.05

176.96

34.83

25.24

1,428.61

2015

969.19

     199.96

28.68

169.16

36.66

25.48

1,429.14

2016

990.07

     197.66

29.24

167.82

37.28

26.33

1,448.40

2017

1,005.55

     180.62

30.86

163.29

39.09

28.37

1,447.78

2018

1,022.32

     185.06

33.98

166.43

41.50

30.52

1,479.82

2019

1,022.92

     184.73

38.41

167.16

45.80

35.25

1,494.28

 Source: Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Transport Department

 

During the same period, the bus fleet expanded at a CAGR of 0.79 per cent. The table below provides information about the bus fleet.

 

Table2: Hong Kong bus fleet (2011–2019)

Year

Fleet size

KMB

City Bus Franchise 1

City Bus Franchise 2

NWFB

LWB

NLB

Total

2011

3,890

766

172

703

163

104

5,798

2012

3,818

778

170

704

165

108

5,743

2013

3,844

777

175

715

172

108

5,791

2014

3,852

781

176

711

179

111

5,810

2015

3,888

762

182

720

190

123

5,865

2016

3,916

767

179

691

242

121

5,916

2017

3,967

738

206

702

245

124

5,982

2018

4,094

745

233

663

261

155

6,151

2019

4,065

751

241

685

279

156

6,177

Source: Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Transport Department

 

The figure below provides information about the modal share of franchised buses in 2019.

 

Figure: Modal share in 2019

 

Source: Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Transport Department