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KMB buses are seen in Admiralty on October 31. The bus company is an outlier in not sharing real-time data on Hong Kong’s open data sharing platform. Photo: Fung Chang

Letters | KMB must speed up sharing of real-time data


In September 2019, we sent an email enquiry to Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) asking how the company ensures the accuracy of its mobile phone app, as the app reported a bus delay due to a traffic jam at 6am. There was no reply from KMB until we contacted the Transport Department for help this October. In its reply, KMB still could not explain why its bus was apparently stuck in the traffic during non-rush hours, as reported by the app.

The best way to improve the KMB bus app is to introduce competition from alternative apps offering better services. Through the government’s open data sharing platform, the real-time data of estimated arrival time of buses from Citybus, New World First Bus and New Lantao Bus has been made available for the government and technology companies to develop such alternatives. Regrettably, KMB has not shared its data through the open data platform.

In their corporate social responsibility report, Citybus and New World First Bus refer to their provision of real-time operational information to better serve the public. When will KMB take up its corporate social responsibility to share data and support the development of a smart city in Hong Kong?

Hejian Ma and Simon Wang, Kowloon Tong