One of the world's best bus services

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 12:00am

I am baffled by all the fuss surrounding 'infotainment' on Hong Kong's buses.

Hong Kong (especially Hong Kong Island) has one of the world's best bus services, and surely, infotainment is a small price to pay for the regularity, comfort and safety that most commuters enjoy.

It is a far cry from the days when upstairs windows had to be left open in inclement weather and when the fare was determined by means of a flip chart that the driver, in the Hong Kong manner, might or might not deign to update at fare stages.

I spent a number of years in Bangkok and was regularly entertained on the Microbus service by a video feed called English on the Bus.

It was informative, vastly more interesting than a shouted hands-free mobile-phone conversation and certainly quieter than the sound of friends greeting each other from a few seats away as if they were, say, respectively in Kwun Tong and Quarry Bay.

That said, however, I recognise that there is a regional backlash against this infotainment. But when Singaporeans say (article, South China Morning Post, April 13) that the intrusion is 'more irritating than entertainment', it might well be time for their bus company to import a few episodes of English on the Bus.


Kowloon Bay