New double-decker bus to run on 3M route from Q3

This is the new double-decker bus that will run between Tung Chung and Mui Wo, starting in the third quarter.

New Lantao Bus Co (NLB), which released the photo this week, says the new bus can carry 88 passengers, up 40-50% from existing single-deck vehicles.

The buses are timed to come into service after residents start moving into the new HOS apartments in Mui Wo, NLB says.

The two HOS estates are expected add approximately 2,000 people to Mui Wo’s population of 5,400.

NLB has ordered ten air-conditioned low-floor vehicles to run on the 3M route.

Each bus can carry 47 passengers on the upper level and 41 seated or standing on the lower level.

The company says it ran trials in June 2016 and November 2017 – in the latter testing it out on the entire 3M journey.

The 3M is the only public transport link between Mui Wo and Tung Chung and is severely crowded during rush hour periods.

But the Transport Department (TD) says the current service has “roughly” enough capacity to support demand.

In a paper submitted to the Islands District Council last October, it said that according to a survey, hour the highest level of bus occupancy at peak hour was 81% in the Mui Wo direction and 88% in the Tung Chung direction.

The TD says the new buses will be equipped with a closed-circuit TV and a ‘black box’ so NLB can monitor the condition of the dirver and the bus operation for safety purposes.

It says fare, route and frequency on the 3M route will remain unchanged after the introduction of the double-deckers.

It is not the first time double-decker buses have run on Lantau roads.

Prior to the construction of the Tsing Ma Bridge in 1997, two-decked buses used to run between Mui Wo and Tong Fuk to carry passengers to and from the ferry pier.

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