Hong Kong’s bus driver dilemma – to illegally stop or not to stop?

Hong Kong’s bus driver dilemma – to illegally stop or not to stop?

After being ticketed for parking illegally, bus drivers are taking where they can and can’t stop very seriously


Bus drivers say they can’t always stop at the designated stops because of traffic jams.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

Bus companies on Monday talked to government officials about recent incidents of police action against illegal parking, the same day drivers in the city took action to only drop passengers at set stop areas.

Police said they are not targeting buses from the city’s three bus companies – Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), New World First Bus, and Citybus. The comment comes after a video shared online on Sunday showed a driver being ticketed outside Jardine House in Central for illegally letting passengers get off.

Drivers are not allowed to do this. But unions say they sometimes have to thanks to bad traffic, impatient passengers and illegal parking at bus stops by other vehicles.

In response to the video, the Staff Rights Association union – representing around 200 KMB drivers – got drivers across the city to strictly follow the rules about where to let passengers get off.

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Li Kwok-wah, chairman of the union, said he did not know how long the action would continue for. He added that KMB management said they will pay the fine for the driver.

“We hope the passengers can understand that bus drivers are just trying to do their jobs,” he said.

A spokesman from the Transport Department said in a statement: “The overall operation of major bus stops today was generally smooth, and the department will continue to liaise closely with police and bus companies to maintain good traffic conditions.”

Yolanda Ng Yuen-ting, a member of the Wan Chai District Council, called on police to step up law enforcement efforts at a meeting last Tuesday, and said bus drivers should offload passengers at designated stops.

She said it was unexpected that her words may have led to the driver in Central being ticketed.

“I feel sorry for the bus driver and the general public who are affected by the incident,” she said, adding her focus is on illegally parked cars outside the Sogo bus stop in Causeway Bay.

The Transport Department said they will study measures to tackle the problem of illegal parking by taxis in the bus stop near Sogo, according to a spokesman from New World Services (NWS) Transport Services, the umbrella company for New World First Bus and Citybus.

Edited by Lucy Christie

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
To stop or not to stop, that’s the question


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