Noise-conscious passenger's KMB boycott

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 November, 1999, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from Jennifer Wong of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company headlined, 'Passengers like radio service' (South China Morning Post, October 20).

This passenger, for one, does not like KMB's radio service and actively avoids travelling on KMB, whenever possible.

Fortunately, my regular tunnel bus route is also served by Citybus which, at present, provides a relatively quiet and peaceful journey.

When KMB first introduced this so-called value-added service on to this route a few years ago I made a complaint about it to the Transport Complaints Unit. The unit responded, eventually, by putting forward KMB's own argument that surveys had shown that most passengers welcomed these broadcasts.

I would like to know more about these surveys and about the nature of the relationship between KMB and Commercial Radio. Are these surveys conducted by KMB or by a reputable surveying company? If the latter what is their brief? How many passengers have been surveyed and what proportion is this of the total number of daily passengers? What questions are asked and how are they worded? Also, does Commercial Radio make any payment to KMB to have its programmes broadcast on the company's buses? Ms Wong is right in saying that passengers have different preferences and before KMB forced these broadcasts on them they had a choice about whether or not to use their own receivers to listen to Commercial Radio or indeed any other station.

While at present I can largely avoid being subjected to KMB's noise pollution my concern is that Citybus might decide to follow suit and then I, and other noise-conscious passengers, will have no respite.