Public Light Busses, besides the regular coaches the most popular way of transportation in Hong Kong. On August 18th (two days ago) another subway line had been opened: the Tseung Kwan O line. The festivities were quite impressive, but there were also some critical voices saying that the MTR (subway) in Hong Kong is too expensive. Especially for the weaker income classes. And it is true, I spend more money during 2 weeks on the MTR then in a month in Zurich using the monthly rainbow card.
The pictures shows a Public Light Bus "terminal", just at the end of the street market. The fruit vendor is just in the back of the photographer for your orientation.
Hong Kong has probably the best
transportation system in the whole world. Top down: it starts with the fast and
safe MTR. A trip costs between 40 cents and 2 USD. Finally the MTR stations are
undergoing some long overdue renovation. The stations are going to be equipped
with sliding glass doors, too many accidents obviously happened during rush
Next level: currently (2004) 3 bus companies share the bus routes: Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB, also manages the airport shuttle), New World 1st Bus and City Bus. An amazing number of busses travels 24 hours a day to any location within Hong Kong. And the rides are inexpensive, typically about half of the cost of the MTR. Of course you have be aware that during rush hours, you can get stuck on that double decker. But if you are a tourist, this is a must.
At the bottom of the pyramid, the Public Light Busses. Price is normally again about 30% less reduced from the bus prices. Think of the Public Light Buses as a dynamic patch to the more inert MTR/bus system. If a new residential building pops-up, there will be a new Public Light Bus line serving that building within days or weeks. A truly amazing infrastructure.
There are also cross-harbour Public Light Bus lines. Example given: I could travel from e.g. Aberdeen to Mongkok on the City Bus, then switch to the MTR at Causeway Bay, then walk 8 minutes down to the tracks (trust me, I timed this), then take the MTR to Mongkok. A lot of changes, at least 45 minutes traveling time. Or... I can simply enter the Public Light Bus at Aberdeen Centre and have a direct line to Waterloo Road. Well, the seats on those Light Buses are not that convenient, but I make it there in 30 minutes and I do not have to change once.