|Founded||13 April 1933|
|Headquarters||Lai Chi Kok|
|Service area||Hong Kong|
|Service type||Bus services|
|Alliance||Long Win Bus|
|Fleet||4073 (Oct 2019)|
|Annual ridership||990 million (2016)[ citation needed ]|
|Kowloon Motor Bus|
The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB) is a bus company operating franchised services in Hong Kong. It is the largest bus company in Hong Kong by fleet size and number of bus routes. It is a subsidiary of Transport International.
KMB was founded on 13 April 1933 as a result of the reformation of public transport by the Hong Kong Government. Before the reformation, there were several independent bus operators working on both sides of Victoria Harbour including KMB.
The Hong Kong Government enforces the bus franchises in favour of the franchisees, while it prosecutes the operators of unauthorized private bus services and other types of authorized bus service that pick up or drop off passengers in franchised bus parking zones.
The KMB franchise allowed for the operation of public omnibus service on the Kowloon side as well as the New Territories. By 11 June 1933, KMB had a fleet of 106 single-deck buses.
The founding members of KMB were:
By December 1941, KMB had 140 single-deckers operating on 17 routes. As only a handful of buses survived World War II, some lorries were temporarily converted into buses. By the late 1940s, KMB ridership increased with the huge influx of immigration from China. In 1949, KMB bought 20 Daimler double-deckers from England, becoming the first operator of double-deckers in Hong Kong.
Following the opening of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel in 1972, KMB operated a number of cross-harbour routes jointly with China Motor Bus, the sole bus operator on Hong Kong Island. This marked the first time KMB buses running on the island.In the same year, KMB began experimenting with buses operating without a fare collector. All passengers would board from the front door and pay the fare by putting money into the collection box next to the driver.
In 1996, KMB launched an advertising campaign to promote modern image. It is the first bus company advertising in Hong Kong.
On 1 June 1997, KMB formed a subsidiary, Long Win Bus, to provide service on the Lantau Link to the new Hong Kong International Airport and Tung Chung.In 1998, KMB extended its business into mainland China with a co-operative joint venture, Dalian Hong Kong Macau Company. In 1999, KMB started to operate some KCR Feeder Bus (now MTR Bus) routes, which are complimentary to passengers of the KCR East Rail and later West Rail (now MTR East Rail line and West Rail line).
In July 2007, KMB commenced operating a 10-year franchise, that has since been renewed until June 2027.
As at October 2019, KMB operated 642 routes in Kowloon and the New Territories, and operates cross-harbour tunnel routes in co-operation with the two other bus operators Citybus and New World First Bus.
Passengers pay the fare in cash (no change given) or using an Octopus card, a smart card payment system. Discounts apply for Octopus users on specified route interchange combinations. To enable elderly people and eligible persons with disabilities to travel on the general Mass Transit Railway (MTR) lines, franchised buses and ferries are charged concessionary fare of $2 per trip, starting from 2012. The scheme aims to help build a caring and inclusive society by encouraging these groups to participate more in community activities.
As of October 2019, Kowloon Motor Bus operated a fleet of 4073 buses.
KMB traditionally purchased buses from English manufacturers including AEC, Daimler, Dennis, Guy Motors, Leyland, Metro Cammell Weymann and Seddon, that either were bodied in England or locally.
In 1975, the first air-conditioned bus in Hong Kong was put into service by KMB. Following the testing of double-deck air-conditioned buses Victory and Jubilant in the early 1980s, KMB became the world's first operator of such buses.All purchases after 1995 were for air-conditioned buses. In May 2012, KMB withdrew its last non-air-conditioned buses from service.
In the late 1970s, it began to purchase chassis from European manufacturers MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo.
KMB original liveries were combinations of red and cream. In the early 1990s, a white and grey livery was introduced for air-conditioned buses, followed in 1997 by a champagne livery. In June 2017, a red and silver livery was introduced.
KMB operate four depots in Kowloon and the New Territories.The depot of a bus is identified by the letter K, L, S, or U, and the letter is marked on the bottom left of the driver's windscreen or below windscreen. The assignment scheme is as follows:
Kowloon Motor Bus also has a Hong Kong football club, Kowloon Motor Bus Co. It was formed in 1947 and joined Hong Kong First Division League in the 1947/48 season. Nicknamed "Atomic Bus", the team obtained the only two league titles in 1953/54 and 1966/67. The team attained its peak in the 1950s and 1960s when the "South China - Kowloon Motor Bus Co. crash" (南巴大戰) was one of the highlighted rival matches in Hong Kong. In 1970/71, the team faced their first relegation, but was able to stay in the First Division as Jardines quit the league in the following season. However, the team were relegated in 1972/73. It made its last First Division League appearance in 1976/77, but was relegated after only one season. The football team quit the league in 1981 and reformed in 2017.
Hong Kong has a highly developed and sophisticated transport network, encompassing both public and private transport. Based on Hong Kong Government's Travel Characteristics Survey, over 90% of the daily journeys are on public transport, the highest rate in the world. However, in 2014 the Transport Advisory Committee, which advises the Government on transportation issues, issued a report on the much worsened congestion problem in Hong Kong and pointed at the excessive growth of private cars during the past 10–15 years.
New World First Bus Services Limited (NWFB) is the third-largest bus operator in Hong Kong.
The history of bus transport in Hong Kong began with the introduction of the first bus routes in Hong Kong in the 1920s.
Citybus Limited is one of the three major bus operators in Hong Kong. It provides both franchised and non-franchised bus service. The franchised route network serves mainly Hong Kong Island, cross-harbour routes, North Lantau and Hong Kong International Airport. The non-franchised routes serve mainly City One Sha Tin. It also provides bus rental services and staff bus services for some large companies such as TVB and China Light and Power.
The Light Rail, also known as the Light Rail Transit (LRT), is a light rail system in Hong Kong, serving the northwestern New Territories, within Tuen Mun District and Yuen Long District. The system operates over 1,435 mmstandard gauge gauge track, using 750 V DC overhead power supply. It was once one of four systems comprising the KCR network in Hong Kong. It has a daily ridership of about 483,000 people.
The Alexander Dennis Enviro500 is a three-axle double-decker bus built by Alexander Dennis in the United Kingdom. It was unveiled in 2002 and is one of the Enviro-series bus models made by TransBus/Alexander Dennis.
China Motor Bus Company, often abbreviated as CMB, is a property developer in Hong Kong. Before its franchise lapsed in 1998, it was the first motor bus operator in Hong Kong, and was responsible for the introduction of double-decker buses to Hong Kong Island.
The Mercedes-Benz O305 was a single deck, double deck and articulated bus manufactured by Mercedes-Benz in Mannheim, West Germany from 1969 until 1987. It was built as either a complete bus or a bus chassis and was the Mercedes-Benz adaptation of the unified German VöV-Standard-Bus design, that was produced by many different bus manufacturers including Büssing, Magirus-Deutz, MAN, Ikarus, Gräf/Steyr, Heuliez, Renault, and Pegaso. The O305 was designed for use as a single-decker bus, however it was later redesigned to accommodate double-decker bodies.
Cityflyer is an airport coach service to Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge provided by Citybus. The service was started during the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport in 1998.
In Hong Kong, public bus, public light bus and residential bus routes bear their own route numbers.
The Leyland Olympian was a 2-axle and 3-axle double-decker bus chassis manufactured by Leyland between 1980 and 1993. It was the last Leyland bus model in production.
The Dennis Jubilant was a front engined double decker bus chassis manufactured by Dennis between 1977 and 1981. It was specifically designed for contemporary operating environment in Hong Kong.
The Dennis Dragon was a three-axle step-entrance double-decker bus manufactured by Dennis in the United Kingdom between 1982 and 1999.
Bus services in Hong Kong have a long history. As of 2016, five companies operate franchised public bus services. There is also a variety of non-franchised public buses services, including feeder bus services to railway stations operated by MTR, and residents' services for residential estates.
The Daimler Fleetline is a rear-engined double-decker bus chassis which was built between 1960 and 1983.
KMB Route 1 is a bus route operated in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is run by Kowloon Motor Bus and connects Star Ferry and Chuk Yuen Estate in Wong Tai Sin. The bus runs via Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Kowloon City and Lok Fu.
Network 26 is a network of 26 bus routes on Hong Kong Island previously belonging to China Motor Bus (CMB) being annexed to Citybus by the Government of Hong Kong on 1 September 1993.
William Sui-tak Louey was a Hong Kong businessman and the founder and Chief Manager of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company.
Air-Conditioned New Territories Route No. 290 and 290A are Hong Kong bus routes operated by Kowloon Motor Bus, plying between Choi Ming Court in Tseung Kwan O and Tsuen Wan West station.
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