Buses queuing at stops are a major cause of congestion
I have been a daily user of public transport systems since 1999. To counter the argument that the trams cause traffic congestion, I have made the following observations.
The entire Hennessy Road eastbound traffic starts clogging up around 2pm every weekday. The jammed Causeway Bay section can be easily explained by the merging traffic from Johnston Road and then the traffic lights at the junction at Percival Street. Well, it's Causeway Bay.
Then how do we explain the clogging up in the Wan Chai section between Luard Road and Johnston Road?
There is no tram in this section of Hennessy Road.
It doesn't take a scientific study to understand why.
A bus takes about five seconds to park at the bus stop before the door is opened.
There are usually only two to five passengers waiting in the stops along this section (more in Causeway Bay, of course).
Most drivers do make sure that the passengers are settled before they set off. It takes about 30 seconds to leave the stop if there is no congestion in front.
The problem is that the buses are very often parked at an angle with the rear still on the middle lane thus blocking the middle lane reducing three-lane traffic to one.
It is a common sight at this time of the afternoon that there are five to six buses waiting behind one. Each takes its turn and keeps its rear at the same angle.
This also explains why sometimes Robinson Road in Mid-Levels can be so jammed up. It's a common sight that there are three No 23 buses at the stop at the same time.
Now try waiting for a bus at 6pm in front of Hysan Place for westbound traffic. I once counted 31 buses passing by before my No 23 arrived. Except for the cross-harbour routes, I saw no standing passengers in every Hong Kong Island route bus. And this was during the rush hour.
If the trams were scrapped, then there would be more buses, more congestion, and more pollutants.
I suggest the government takes the decision to scrap many of the bus routes that run along MTR lines.
Tony Yuen, Mid-Levels