New Lantao Bus
Isuzu on route 11
|Service area||Lantau Island|
|Service type||Bus services|
New World First Bus
|Routes||23 (March 2014)|
|Fleet||121 (October 2015)|
NLB was formed in 1973 through the merger of three bus companies operated by residents of Lantau Island, and became the third franchised bus company on 1 April 1974.
In January 1992, NLB became a subsidiary of Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings, a company now partly owned by NWS Holdings, which is also the parent company of Citybus, New World First Bus, and New World First Ferry. All four transport operators are thus associated.
NLB's franchise was extended on 1 April 1997 to run until 31 March 2007. It was extended again until 1 March 2017.
Before the construction of Tung Chung New Town, almost all of NLB's routes terminated at Mui Wo. During that time when there were no major towns on the island, most of the company's routes aimed to connect the smaller villages to the ferry at Mui Wo. Currently, however, most routes terminate at Tung Chung and many of those that formerly terminated at Mui Wo have been discontinued.
The major service area of the company is Lantau Island, while it is the only bus company in the southern part of the Island. It now operates 11 regular routes, 3 overnight routes, 1 school-day only route, 1 holiday-only route, 1 airport route and 1 special route on Lantau Island, carrying an average of 25,000 passengers daily in 2002.
Most of the routes terminate at Mui Wo and Tung Chung, where there are ferries and MTR to connect to other parts of the territory. Some routes are short-haul routes within the Tung Chung new town. NLB operates a holiday route numbered 1R, running from Hung Hom in Kowloon to Ngong Ping with eight departures on Sundays and public holidays.
In 2007, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor opened, providing a fourth road border crossing with mainland China. NLB won the right to operate a cross-border bus route B2, which runs from Yuen Long MTR station to the border checkpoint at Deep Bay.
As at March 2014, it operated 23 franchised routes.
The current fleet are single-deck buses in majority with a few number of double-deck buses (MAN A95 and Dennis Trident 3). Most of the single-deck buses operated by New Lantao Bus are German-built MAN buses with local bodywork. Japanese-built ISUZUs used to be the majority before 2009.
As of August 2015, the operator owns a fleet of 118 buses while 38.14% are wheelchair accessible.
New Lantao Bus is the only franchised bus operator in Hong Kong operating Isuzu buses. Most are (tourist) coaches instead of city buses found in urban, except those running within the Tung Chung new town and cross border routes (B2 series, between Yuen Long District and Shenzhen Bay Port). This is due to rough road conditions in southern Lantau Island.
Such buses are of a high floor design and fitted with a powerful engine. They are fitted with air-conditioning systems like most buses in Hong Kong. The air-conditioning systems of the ISUZUs are powered by a separate engine instead of the main engine. This allows the main engine to operate on its full power when climbing up steep slopes in the southern Lantau.
The Isuzu buses aged quickly owing to rough roads on Lantau, and their climbing performance is relatively inferior to the newer MAN buses. MAN "coaches" gradually replaced the role of the Isuzu buses around 2009, becoming the majority of the operator's fleet currently.
- "Average age and respective numbers of buses in the fleet of each franchised bus company" (PDF). Legislative Council. 18 November 2015.
- Consultation on requirements of new franchises for two franchised bus companies to end on September 16 Hong Kong Government 2 September 2014
- http://www.nlb.com.hk/route/detail/19 B2 route information
- Annual Report for year ended 31 March 2014 New Lantao Bus