Fine engineering support
I AM touched by Jonathan Braude's 'From the Gallery' lament (South China Morning Post, June 15) about the bus franchises and sympathise with his views. He refers to the deregulation of the bus services in London and mentions Grey-Green and Green Line buses. He may be interested to learn that we also have 200 yellow double-deckers there which are doing very well for us in-deed.
As for the suggestion that given half a chance to take over any further franchised routes on Hong Kong Island which may or may not become available, I can assure your readers that Citybus has no plans to introduce to the Hong Kong streets any further second-hand buses from Singapore and neither would we stoop to Jeepneys or Tata vehicles.
Indeed, the 100 vehicles we brought up from Singapore in 1993 have served us excellently and, against all predictions to the contrary, have proved extremely reliable and hardworking. For example, the main group of routes to which they are allocated, the Kennedy Town services, has seen a 112 per cent increase in passenger ridership over the past 21/2 years. You cannot achieve that impressive growth with inferior buses.
Thanks for this must go in part, to the excellent engineering support we have put into them to the extent that when they begin to be retired from service towards the end of this year we have several bus operators waiting to snap them up including a few in the UK. This is quite a change from Hong Kong operators buying second-hand buses from the UK and just shows how far Hong Kong's buses have progressed in recent years.
LYNDON REES Managing Director Citybus Limited