Lantau has Hong Kong’s best-performing bus fleet, according to Transport Department figures.
Every year for the past five years, New Lantao Bus (NLB) vehicles have recorded the lowest number of breakdowns of any of the city’s six franchised bus fleets.
Last year NLB’s 121 buses recorded 12.6 breakdowns for every million kilometres travelled. The next best was Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), at 17.4, and the worst was New World First Bus (NWFB), with 52.6.
NLB has the smallest bus fleet, but the level of breakdowns doesn’t seem to be related to size. KMB is by far the biggest operator, with 3,916 buses, but NWFB, consistently the lowest performer, has just 691.
The Transport Dept suggests it may be connected to the amount of uphill and downhill and the road quality – but that would favour most urban buses over the Lantau vehicles. Perhaps it is also related to how the buses run on the route. Lantau buses may have steeper hills but they spend limited periods idling in traffic.
However, the fact that the reliability performance for each of the operators is relatively consistent over the years suggests internal maintenance practices are also a factor.
Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, also told Legco Wednesday that franchised passenger buses are required to be retired from service after 18 years. In the coming five years KMB would replace 1225, New World First Bus 118 and New Lantao Bus Company 35 buses respectively.