BUS drivers go at snail's pace, get lost and constantly make people late for work, according to some of the more than 250 complaints Citybus has received since it took over 26 island routes from China Motor Bus (CMB) two months ago. Passengers who use the 26 routes and were fed up with CMB's operation, now say Citybus promises of an improved service have not materialised. The company received 196 complaints in its first month and another 54 until October 20, a sharp increase from the 33 complaints it received in the first six months of this year. In the same period, according to the Transport Complaints Committee (TCC), CMB received almost 400 complaints and Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) 519. One annoyed Citybus passenger said the company had not improved services at all. ''I take the No. 90 bus every day. How come the drivers drive so slowly? They're still doing so two months after the takeover. They should be familiar with the routes by now. They are supposed to be experienced and yet the drivers are like those who havejust been awarded a licence.'' Joe Choi described Citybus as ''slow as a snail'' and said it took him twice as long to get home now than when CMB was running the route. ''I think Citybus is much worse than CMB,'' he said. ''The service is terrible. Last week a bus driver waited for almost 20 minutes until the bus was full, even at rush-hour. Everybody was hurrying for work. ''My boss deducts one dollar from my salary for every minute I'm late for work. Citybus has made me lose several hundred dollars in pay. ''Now I have to spend almost 11/2 hours travelling every morning, while the CMB only took me half an hour. ''I prefer to take the minibus and change to CMB, it's even faster than Citybus.'' Mr Choi also complained about the narrow seats and the air-conditioning in the bus which would sometimes be switched off when the bus was stuck in a traffic jam. His brother Tony, meanwhile, said he ended up in Kowloon when a Citybus driver got lost on the route between Ap Lei Chau and Causeway Bay. ''The driver got lost and then could not turn the bus around because he said it was too late to get back on the right road.'' Kary Liu Shuk-ping, who travelled on the No. 97 route from her Lei Tung Estate home to Admiralty every day, said: ''I don't think the service has become better. ''Buses are still infrequent, we still have to wait a long time before buses come.'' Chen Yeh-ying, 65, who lived in Wong Chuk Hang, was happy with Citybus No. 72A but said there were some problems. ''It takes me only 10 minutes to go from home to the laundry shop in North Point where I work by Citybus. It is true the drivers were not too familiar with the routes, but they picked up things very fast,'' she said. But Lui Fai-yu, 44, believes Citybus drivers still do not know their routes. ''It's not fair that after two months, the drivers are still like greenhorns,'' he said. ''Now I have to leave much earlier than I used to on CMB. It takes more or less the same time to wait for the bus, but CMB drivers were much more efficient. ''Almost every day I take the bus twice but they are seldom on time. Sometimes I even wait half an hour before a bus comes.'' Thirteen-year-old Joyce Wong, who takes the bus to school in Aberdeen everyday, says the Citybus service has improved over the two months. ''Now the service has become much better. It was very bad for the first few weeks because my schoolmates and I found the buses were always late and were infrequent in the morning. ''There were always long queues of students at Lei Tung Estate, but it's much better now.'' Citybus spokesman Ivan Lo admitted the company lacked experience in running a franchised bus service. ''We have 300 drivers running the 26 bus routes we took over from CMB in September but obviously we don't have enough drivers,'' he said. ''We are trying to improve the situation by hiring more drivers. I think passengers should give us more time to improve.'' Mr Lo said it was unfair to compare Citybus with CMB. ''We started running the 26 bus routes only last month and we did expect to have some teething problems. In the past, our routes were not under Government supervision.'' Citybus is conducting an internal evaluation of its performance on the 26 routes and the results are expected early next year. Legislator and deputy convener of the Legislative Council's Transport Panel, Zachary Wong Wai-yin, has called on the Transport Department to look into Citybus' poor performance. ''The Transport Department might not have adequately assessed Citybus before granting it the routes. In fact, the department could have studied the company's ability during the probation period before September,'' he said. ''Citybus should also have had enough time to familiarise itself with the new operation including the itinerary. I don't understand why problems are still arising after two months.'' He plans to raise the issue at Tuesday's Transport Panel meeting. ''If Citybus is not doing well, the Government can take back the 26 routes franchised to the company, or the public can request the Transport Department to grant licences for estate bus services to other operators,'' Mr Wong said. Meanwhile CMB travel manager James Sykes said the transfer of routes to Citybus had led to a drop in complaints for his company. ''Definitely, the transfer to Citybus is a good thing, competition is, in general, good,'' he said. CMB complaints have dropped from 100 in August to 76 last month. ''Since September, we have been continuing to improve the reliability of our bus services in terms of frequency and schedule, but this is extremely difficult because of the increase in traffic congestion,'' Mr Sykes said.