I have received many complaints recently about the delay in launching the DB/Sunny Bay service and the over-crowding of the Tung Chung buses. I think it necessary to provide you with the facts.

 

 

25 April 2005
HKR announced in the Passenger Liaison Group (PLG) meeting that new buses had been purchased to run the DB/Sunny Bay service.
3 May 2005
I sent out a questionnaire on the DB/Sunny Bay bus service.
18 July 2005
I issued the survey result and then sent it to the Transport Department (TD), HKR, DBTSL and DB residents.
19 July 2005
HKR arranged the test run and invited COC and PLG members to join.
19 July 2005
TD issued their Approval-in-Principle and requested HKR to file the necessary documents.
1 August 2005
MTR opened the Sunny Bay station.
6 August 2005

I wrote a letter to HKR asking the following questions:
(1) whether the buses the company purchased for running this service were of the right ‘category’ for the Residents Service, i.e. non-franchised bus;
(2) the timetable for filing necessary documentation/receiving final approval from the TD ; and
(3) HKR’s expectation as to when the DB/Sunny Bay bus service would be introduced.

Up until today
My questions remain unanswered and the DB/Sunny Bay route is still on hold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Issue 03 of DbAY published early this month, HKR claimed that TD only allowed them to run the existing 9 Tung Chung buses but not the 3 additional ones. HKR did not give reason for TD’s disapproval of the 3 additional buses. HKR refused TD’s decision and said they would try to persuade the department.

An excerpt of my letter of 16 August 2005 to HKR is reproduced below for your perusal.

“My understanding is that the three additional buses that DBTSL purchased from Citibus are 'second-hand' buses that have previously been used on franchised routes, as opposed to 'new' buses. As I understand it, according to the Transport Department's (TD) policy, they cannot be used to service 'non-franchised' routes. I believe that the proposed DB/Sunny Bay Residents Service falls into this 'non-franchised' category.

If my understanding is correct, I cannot help but wonder why DBTSL, a long-time bus operator which should be well aware of the TD's policies, did not purchase the correct 'category' of buses to service the proposed route. Had this been the case, the DB/Sunny Bay service could well have been in place by now.

Personally, I do not think that any argument can be used to persuade the TD to abandon its policy with regards to this case. Due to the fanfare generated by your company, residents' expectations are high with regards to the initiation of the DB/Sunny Bay service in the very near term. I hope that you will give strong consideration to purchasing/renting the appropriate buses from the existing non-franchised bus operators as soon as possible so as to bring about the benefits afforded to all DB residents by this new bus route.”