Bus services face an uncertain future amid predictions that railways could make up 43 per cent of the transport system by 2016. Some cross-harbour routes and those covered by new rail links are likely to come under particular pressure. Kowloon Motor Bus, the biggest cross-harbour carrier with more than 250,000 passengers daily, said that while it was too early to forecast the precise impact, regular transport assessments would be conducted. 'It really depends on the travelling pattern at the time, and any changes in the bus service will be aimed at adjusting to passenger demand,' KMB's acting public relations manager, Chan Pik-yin, said. New World First Bus, which carried more than 160 million passengers last year, is sure its customers will not switch to the MTR or KCR once the new Sha Tin to Central Link via East Kowloon and MTR Island Line extensions are completed by 2012. Public affairs manager Elaine Chan Yin-ling said: 'Our survey shows many passengers like buses over rail because of the convenience.' The MTR transports more than 2.3 million passengers on its four lines every day - three of which cross the harbour - while 548,000 catch the domestic passenger service of KCR East Rail. Secretary for Transport Nicholas Ng Wing-hui said the journey time between Hunghom and Lowu would be reduced to about 19 minutes with the new Regional Express Line, which will have fewer stops than the present East Rail. Fares will be set when the plan is finalised. He also indicated future railways might be developed by companies other than the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation and Mass Transit Railway Corporation.