Poot bus service
MY family moved to Junk Bay recently, hoping the MTR will be built there by the year 2001. However, it is a long wait for white-collar commuters like me who work in Central. Currently there are two bus routes going to Central via the Eastern Harbour Tunnel - one runs each day, the other only on weekdays.
Travelling between North Point and Central in the rush-hours, because of congestion and numerous stops along King's Road and Hennessy Road is time consuming. It takes about 70 minutes to get from Junk Bay to Central. Most of the passengers on the 690 or 691, get off at North Point, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. After Wan Chai, there are few passengers left.
Many Junk Bay residents who work in Admiralty and Central are scared off by such lengthy travel and prefer to change to the MTR in Lam Tin or Kwun Tong. The Transport Department should seriously consider allowing KMB or Citybus to run a special service that travels along the whole section of the Eastern Corridor and Gloucester Road, in order to take workers in the most direct way to Central.
Because this would save white collar workers the trouble of changing to the MTR at Lam Tin, it would prove popular and would relieve pressure at the Quarry Bay interchange.
I appreciate that the same buses making the return journey back to Junk Bay would not get the same number of passengers, but the bus company could compensate for this by charging what amounts to a virtual return fare and this would make up its losses.
If the air-conditioned 690 charges $13, then this new service could charge up to $18.
I would also urge the Transport Department to insist that existing bus services are efficient. It should get KMB to provide more shuttle buses between MTR stations and Junk Bay, via Junk Bay Tunnel. Currently only the No 298 goes to Lam Tin station. Others such as Nos 98A, 93A, 93M will go through the tunnel when necessary. During peak hours, most Junk Bay residents want to travel via the tunnel that is closest to them. Why should they have to go uphill to Sau Mau Ping and down again to Kwun Tong? Compare that with another newly developed district, Ap Lei Chau, where the South Horizons estate has been built.
There residents can travel on routes run by both CMB and Citybus, which go to Central, Causeway Bay, Admiralty, and Cheung Sha Wan via Aberdeen Tunnel. Junk Bay residents only have one regular service.
I guess it must be due to the Transport Department's reasoning that only a few Junk Bay residents work in Hong Kong's main business districts. It should understand that people are willing to pay more for an efficient service.
I would be grateful for a response from the Transport Department, KMB and Citybus.
K.K. CHAN Junk Bay