cab chat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2005, 12:00am

Law King-wing, 47, believes that the government should improve communication and act faster on matters of food safety; From Quarry Bay to Tuen Mun Fare: $335.20

'I like eating freshwater fish very much. I must have eaten lots of malachite green. I think the people of Hong Kong cannot worry too much, as there are so many things to worry about. We have to worry about poisonous fish, pork that might carry the pig-borne disease, beef that might carry mad cow disease, poultry that might be affected by bird flu, vegetables with too many chemicals ... I can make a very long list.

My wife avoids buying pork and freshwater fish and waits until further announcements from the government. I think the government is too slow to respond. It seems it only learned about the problematic pork and fish after the media reported the food scare on the mainland. It should improve communication with the central government and make swift responses instead of making a few comments after being repeatedly questioned by reporters.

Oil has become very expensive. I have to pay $10 to $20 more for fuel for every shift, which means I spend hundreds more every month. I can barely cover the cost including car rent. Business is not good, sometimes I only make $200 for a shift which lasts eight hours.

I think many roads in Hong Kong are overloaded, as franchised bus companies extend their bus service networks. We taxi drivers find it very hard to find space to drop and pick up fares, especially along Nathan Road between Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui. More and more bus stops are set up along this road and it is nearly impossible to get to the left lane.

I understand the bus companies are trying to make their bus services more convenient and accessible for passengers. But some roads are overloaded and the traffic is already very busy.

Many cars are stuck when buses are dropping off customers. Some buses have to stop for five to 10 minutes during rush hours to pick up or drop off passengers. Some bus drivers are very inconsiderate. They stop in other lanes, while waiting to park in bus stops and drop off passengers. All cars behind them cannot move. Traffic jams are therefore made worse.

A television news programme once interviewed some officers from the Transport Department. But those officers kept defending those buses and insisted that traffic jams were not caused by buses.

I felt very angry when I watched that programme. I could not believe those officials kept arguing the buses should not be blamed, when they were watching video which clearly showed many buses jamming a road during rush hour.

I think bus companies should set some transfer stops in Mongkok where passengers can make a transfer if they want to go to Tsim Sha Tsui. Many bus routes cover Nathan Road, and most passengers get off before reaching Tsim Sha Tsui.

Some buses should end their services in Mongkok. Those bus companies can just keep a few bus services to drive passengers to Tsim Sha Tsui so the number of buses can be reduced to improve the traffic problem. This method should be applied to all busy districts in Hong Kong.

The congestion problem has become more serious after more bus companies have introduced cross-harbour bus routes.

Passengers will object to my proposal, as they have to make transfers instead of enjoying one-stop bus services. But then I think it is better to make transfers than getting stuck in traffic.

Many bus stops are now placed near traffic lights and junctions of roads. The positions of bus stops also cause congestion, as drivers have to wait for buses to leave after dropping off or picking up customers. Some drivers have to switch to other lanes to get around these buses.

It is very dangerous for drivers to change lanes to avoid waiting buses, and many accidents are caused because of that.