Hong Kong’s largest bus operator is set to roll out some bright, eye-catching new vehicles. KMB’s new red and silver double-deckers will hit the roads in July. Apart from the red and silver bodywork, the buses’ roofs will also feature an outline of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers, along with the slogan “Heartbeat of the City”.
The new look was unveiled during a Facebook live video on Thursday. Gary Leung Ling-yin, an analyst turned driver, showed three of the new buses at an assembly plant in Malaysia.
“Roads in the city are like our veins, and KMB buses carry ‘blood’ toward various destinations every day. We hope the new red buses keep the city vibrant and energetic,” said Leung in the video.
There are also a lot of changes on the inside of the new buses. Seats have been redesigned to “cater to the Asian physique”, and the vehicles have USB charging ports and free Wi-Fi. “More USB charging ports will be installed. With these ports and free Wi-Fi service, we hope passengers have a pleasant trip,” said Leung.
Leung said the buses would be shipped to Hong Kong for a final testing soon, but he did not say how many would be included in the first batch of deliveries, or which route they would serve.
A KMB spokesman said the existing gold-coloured buses would be retained, following speculation that the whole fleet would change to the new colours.
Young Post junior reporter Vanessa Jim from St Clare’s Girls’ School welcomed the new bus design saying it will energise the city. “I think these new buses look like the British ones,” she said. “Their bright red reflects the city’s energy. They’ll also become a tourist attraction, too.”
KMB has gone through a lot of looks since it started in 1933. Its bulky buses in the 1950s were known as “buffalos”. By the 1990s, their buses were nicknamed “hot dogs”, while their first generation of air-conditioned buses were called “white boards” because of their white colour. They changed to the familiar champagne gold in 1997.