No fan of dreadful Stanley buses

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 April, 1993, 12:00am

I WRITE this letter in response to Mr K. C. Ng's letter on behalf of the CMB bus service serving the Stanley area (South China Morning Post, April 21).

As a CMB customer who relies on the CMB bus service every day, I do not believe Mr Ng understands why Southside residents are opposed to the fare increases on our routes.

It was kind of him to outline the economic reasons for the fare increase, but he must understand that many Stanley residents do not feel that the service to price ratio is reasonable.

Mr Ng states that the Stanley area is served by route Nos 6, 14, 63, 73 and 260.

Although he also includes the No 6A in his letter, I refuse, as many Stanley residents, to believe this bus actually exists.

In fact, it is commonly referred to as ''the mirage'' due to the fact that it is seen so infrequently. The 6A was CMB's response to government complaints that Deep Water Bay residents had no other form of bus service other than the expensive 260 route.

If I manage to catch a 6A, I often purchase a Mark Six ticket when I disembark as I am sure it's my lucky day.

The No 14 runs to Chai Wan, and this bus route is comprised of the oldest buses in the CMB fleet. Most passengers are of the insect variety.

The No 6 bus is the most infamous, as most CMB complaints are lodged against this service.

The buses are dirty with drivers who must be trained at the James Dean School of Driving.

Their favourite tricks include the ''customer toss'' (speeding away before embarking passengers have found seats thus throwing them violently into the laps of other passengers) and the ''white knuckle trick'' (opening the exit doors before the bus has even begun to stop). I will not even begin to discuss their on-time record, which rivals that of the Titanic.

The 260 route is, indeed, the finest bus service to Stanley. At $9 it is air-conditioned to a comfortable nine degrees and each set of seats provide enough room for 1.5 passengers.

Of course, the bus is standing room only most mornings and evenings (and most days) but most long-time passengers get there early enough to avoid standing for 45 minutes.

The CMB service to Stanley was overpriced at the old fare, but outrageous at the new prices considering the quality of service Stanley residents receive.

The best news Stanley residents have had in years was the Government's approval of other bus services to compete for the Stanley routes.

For me, CMB is the greatest argument for a private car there is.