Citybus (Hong Kong)

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For other uses, see Citybus (disambiguation).
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Parent Chow Tai Fook Enterprises
NWS Holdings
Founded 1979
Headquarters Chai Wan
Service area Hong Kong
Service type Bus services
Alliance New World First Bus
Routes 108 (November 2013)
Depots 2
Fleet 946 (July 2013)
Daily ridership 621,000 (2012)
Website www.nwstbus.com.hk

Citybus Limited (Chinese: 城巴有限公司) is one of the three major bus operators in Hong Kong. It provides both franchised and non-franchised bus service. The franchised route network serves mainly Hong Kong Island, cross-harbour routes (between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon/New Territories), Ocean Park, North Lantau (Tung Chung and Hong Kong Disneyland) and Hong Kong International Airport. The non-franchised routes serve mainly City One Shatin. It also provides bus rental services and staff bus services for some large companies such as TVB and China Light and Power.

The company is wholly owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and NWS Holdings, who together also own the third largest operator, New World First Bus.[1]

From 1984 to 2001 the company offered a cross-border service between Hong Kong and China using mainly Leyland Olympians, but this was discontinued due to stiff competition. However in 2007, Citybus began operating route B3, which goes to Shenzhen's Bay Port.

History[edit]

Volvo Olympian on cross harbour route 182
MAN NL262 bus on route 11
Alexander RH bodied Dennis Dragon in August 2010

In 1979, Citybus began its operation in Hong Kong with one Volvo B55 double deck bus, providing a shuttle service for the Hong Kong United Dockyard in Hung Hom. In 1981 it commenced operating a residential bus route between City One Shatin and Kowloon Tong MTR station.[2]

In 1984, Citybus began a cross-boundary coach service between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. In 1985, the company introduced its first air-conditioned double-deck coaches. Since then it has continued to expand its fleet of air-conditioned buses.

In 1991, the Hong Kong Government awarded Citybus its first franchised route, 12A (Admiralty Tamar Street to Macdonnell Road) on Hong Kong Island, which was originally operated by China Motor Bus and then withdrawn in the 1980s. Also in 1991 Citybus launched Capital Citybus in London with an all-yellow livery for the routes in North and East London and a red and yellow livery for central London. This was sold to FirstGroup in July 1998 and renamed First Capital.

In September 1993 Citybus took over 26 franchised routes from China Motor Bus after winning a competitive tender. These were branded as Network 26. To operate these a fleet of 100 Leyland Atlanteans was purchased from Singapore Bus Service. A further 14 franchised routes were awarded to the company in 1995 without tendering, with the fleet now expanded to more than 500 buses. During these years Citybus expanded its penetration of the Hong Kong Island market pushing nearly all China Motor Bus routes into low profitability.[2]

In 1996, with the Tsing Ma Bridge coming into operation and commencement of settlement in the Tung Chung new town, Citybus won another tender to operate 13 new franchised routes serving Tung Chung and the new Hong Kong International Airport. In 1998 the airport Cityflyer service commenced, which is part of Citybus and is solely used for Airport express routes to the city. The Cityflyer service consisted of a series of four routes: A11, A12, A21 and A22, with A10 being added in 2006. Citybus also operates various Overnight Airport routes and Airport Shuttle Routes.[2]

In 1998, following the expiry of the franchise of China Motor Bus, a further 12 routes were transferred to Citybus. Citybus's fleet was up to 1,100 buses.[2] The remaining routes of China Motor Bus were transferred to a new operator, New World First Bus.

Its business was expanded into mainland China with a joint venture operation in Beijing through Citybus (China) Limited. It was not only Beijing's first joint venture bus operation, but it also marked the introduction of air-conditioned buses for the first time in the capital city. Following the success of this route, a second urban express coach route was introduced in Beijing. However, the services in Beijing were terminated shortly after the disposal of shares of Citybus (China) Limited from Citybus to Kingsman Global Limited, another Hong Kong company, in June 2004. Citybus had also once operated a route (route 658) in Tianjin. The service is now operated by another company after Citybus disposed all its interest in Citybus (China) Limited.

In July 1999 Citybus was purchased by Stagecoach Group of Scotland.[2][3] In 2001 the cross-boundary coach service between China and Hong Kong was discontinued.

In June 2003 Stagecoach Group sold Citybus to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, the parent company of the major rival operator New World First Bus.[4][5] And after a series of restructurings, Citybus is now a subsidiary of NWS Transport Services Limited, which is also the parent company of New World First Bus and New World First Ferry.[2]

Services[edit]

As at November 2013 Citybus operates 108 routes.[6] It currently operates two franchises:

  • Franchise 1: 1 July 2006 - 31 May 2016[7]
  • Franchise 2: 1 May 2013 - 30 April 2023[8]

Fleet[edit]

Current[edit]

As at January 2014 Citybus operated 946 buses.[6]

Partial withdrawal from franchised service[edit]

  • Dennis Dragon (numbered 702-740, 801-880)
  • Volvo B6LE (numbered 1332-1361)
  • Volvo Olympian (numbered 315-316, 324-329, 396-699, 901-999, 9000-9042) (Some of them will be converted to open-top)

Historical[edit]

Depots[edit]

  • Siu Ho Wan - Sham Fung Road off North Lantau Expressway
  • Chai Wan Depot / Head Office - at Shing Tai Road and Sheung Mau Street 2004

Controversy[edit]

Refusal to rent bus for the First Hong Kong Pride 2008

Hong Kong Pride 2008 Organising Committee asks to rent an open top double-decker bus for the parade. However, Hong Kong Citybus refused to rent by base on concerns about its image. "This was a blatant act of discrimination, especially seeing the fact that this is a legal parade and the Hong Kong police have granted a permit," says Betty Grisoni, co-founder of a lesbian-rights organisation called Les Peches, which helped organise the parade. [9] A Citybus spokeswoman said on Dec. 11 that it would not discriminate against any party and that it was a commercial decision.

Competitors[edit]

Citybus's rivals include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Citybus - First Bus Company Structure, company website
  2. ^ a b c d e f History New World First Bus
  3. ^ Stagecoach enters Hong Kong BBC News 18 January 1999
  4. ^ Stagecoach sells HK buses BBC News 9 June 2003
  5. ^ Stagecoach takes the £176m road away from Hong Kong The Telegraph 10 June 2003
  6. ^ a b Citybus Hong Kong Transport Department
  7. ^ Legislative Council Brief 2006
  8. ^ Grant of new franchises to three bus companies Hong Kong Government 24 April 2012
  9. ^ Guzder, Deena (2008-12-14). "A Gay-Pride Revolution in Hong Kong". TIME. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 

External links[edit]