九龍巴士 Kowloon Motor Bus

九巴是本港最具歷史的巴士公司,同時是全球其中一家最具規模的私營巴士營運商。九巴約於一九二一年成立,隨著港英殖民地政府於一九三二年對香港公共交通服務作出監管,於是發出兩個巴士專營權,九巴獲得當中於新界及九龍半島提供巴士服務的專營權,有關專營權隨於一九三三年六月十一日正式生效。

九巴的服務曾經於日軍佔領香港期間暫停,一九四五年光復後,九巴面對燃料短缺問題之外,可以行走的巴士亦不多,最終在英軍及政府協助下,利用軍車及貨車改裝作巴士滿足營運需要。畢竟這些巴士也只能解一時燃眉之急,加上來自中國的移民潮,面對不斷上升客量,訂購新巴士變得刻不容緩,最後九巴於一九四八年作出一個對本港巴士服務有深遠影響的決定─向英國丹拿車廠購入雙層巴士。經過不斷試路及作出相關法例修改,最終一九四九年四月十七日,九巴派出四架雙層巴士服務乘客,而丹拿之後亦成為九巴其中一個主要巴士供應商。

香港經濟由六十年代開始不斷起飛,九巴得以藉此機會不斷擴展服務網絡,當一九七二年第一條海底隧道通車,九巴開辦連接港九兩地巴士線,並取得非常可觀的成績。緊隨於一九七五年,九巴獨家推出啟德機場巴士服務,替訪港旅客及巿民提供方便,而機場巴士服務亦成為九巴首批成功推出空調巴士服務的路線。因應路面情況容許更大容量的巴士行走,一九八一年九巴引進首架都城嘉慕超級都城型十二米三軸巴士,自此透過不同廠家購入三百多架十二米三軸巴士,投放在不同幹線去滿足需求。八十年代中期,九巴向巴士製造商要求提供十一米三軸巴士,以保持高載客量同時能夠擁有更高靈活性,並一度成為九巴車隊一個標準

九巴不斷在服務上作出新嘗試以保持競爭力及爭取更高利潤,一九七五年一架百福YRQ中置引擎巴士裝上空調系統,安排行走機場巴士,成為九巴車隊中首架空調巴士,而為了提供更高載客量,以及提高豪華巴士服務的服務質素,以抗衡來自地鐵通車的競爭,一九八零年九巴推出雙層空調巴士,可惜上述的空調巴士均未有取得成功。隨著一九八五年丹尼士獵鷹在服務機場的「通天巴士」路線表現理想,空調巴士服務再現曙光,九巴再向巴士製造商要求提供樣板車作測試,最終都城嘉慕於一九八七年率先提供一架十一米都城型空調版本作試驗。可惜,這次試驗最終失敗收場,但九巴仍積極試驗雙層空調巴士,最終利蘭於一九八八年提供一台以十一米奧林比安底盤作藍本的新車試驗成功,打開空調巴士服務香港的一章。

踏入九十年代,九巴除了進一步擴展空調巴士服務,為了響應政府提出傷健一家親之精神,於一九九六年推出「易搭巴士」,開始無障礙運輸的日子,同年九巴成立了龍運巴士,準備競投赤鱲角機場及東涌新巿鎮的巴士服務,最終龍運於翌年開始,營辦連接新界及東涌新巿鎮和新機場的巴士服務。一九九七年香港回歸中國,同時是對九巴發展有著重要意義的一年。九巴跟深圳一家公司合組藝東有限公司(現稱新香港巴士有限公司),由同年三月二十日開始提供連接落馬州與皇崗口岸的穿梭巴士服務。在一九九七年初「易搭巴士」數目由兩架增至十二架,但長遠發展來說,添購雙層低地台巴士是有其必要,九巴於同年五月中接收全球首架丹尼士三叉戟低地台空調雙層巴士,並於十一月正式派出服務乘客,進一步使不同需要乘客,享用到既方便又舒適的巴士服務。因應業務發展,九巴於一九九七年五月成立九巴控股,並於一九九九年開始透過成立陽光巴士染指非專利巴士巿場,九巴控股最後於二零零五年十一月易名載通國際至今。

在二十一世紀,九巴繼續致力提供優質可靠的巴士服務予公眾,二零零二年開始引進符合歐盟三型棑放標準的巴士,同年九巴又聯同港九小輪成立珀麗灣客運,為新鴻基地產於馬灣的大型住宅項目珀麗灣提供接駁交通服務,到二零零九年,珀麗灣客運變成由新鴻基地產全資擁有。二零零三年九巴在雙層低地台巴士這個發展相當成熟的範疇加添新元素,推出配直樓梯及闊車身的「超直巴士」,成為日後新購雙層巴士的一個標準。

時至今日,九巴仍然不斷作出多方面嘗試,以應付日益多變及充滿競爭的營運環境,空調化的目標亦已經於二零一二年五月完成,從此九巴亦跟其他專營巴士公司看齊,提供全空調巴士服務,同時代表著專利非空調巴士行走路上接載乘客的日子已經一去不復返。另外自二零一零年開始,為回應社會對公共巴士環保方面的訴求,九巴研究引進超級電容巴士及電動巴士,最先測試的是來自上海的申沃超級電容巴士gBus,隨後於二零一二年再測試一架由青年製造的超級電容巴士gBus2,最後於二零一三年試用來比亞迪K9D純電動巴士eBus,並且是三架測試車輛中,唯一曾用作載客測試。最終,九巴於二零一五年引入青年超級電容巴士,準備行走於沙田及啟德發展區路線,以作進一步的載客測試。除了電動巴士,九巴亦透過政府資助向亞歷山大丹尼士,購入三架混合動力的E50H雙層巴士,首架新巴士於二零一四年年中抵港,並於同年十一月開始服務乘客。

The historic bus company in Hong Kong, Kowloon Motor Bus, was first established in 1921 and is one of the largest private bus operator in the world. KMB was awarded the franchise for running bus service in the New Territories and Kowloon Peninsula in 1932 when the government started to regulate the public transport service. KMB started to provide service according to this franchise since 11, Jun., 1933.

The bus service was suspended during the occupation of Japan. In 1945, KMB can only run part of the original service after the surrender of Japan due to lack of fuel and usable vehicles. The bus service was then provided by bus modified from truck or military vehicles. It was very urgent for acquiring new buses for replacing as well as to meet the growing demand brought from the influx of the people from the mainland. The management of KMB drew a decision in 1948 that affected the bus history in Hong Kong, the introduction of double decker. After a long period of time for road-tests and the related ordinance amendments, 4 Daimler CVG5 (known as Daimler A) put on road since 17, Apr., 1949 and Daimler was one of the main supplier of KMB in the coming 30 years.

The networks of KMB further expanded benefited from the economic growth of Hong Kong during 1960s. When the first Cross Harbour Tunnel commenced in 1972, KMB operated cross-harbour bus service and got a good harvest from these routes. KMB solely operated airport bus service linking the Kai Tak Airport in 1975 and provided a great convenient to commuters. The Airbus service is also the first successful example of the air-conditioned bus service too. As the road conditions allowed buses with larger capacity to run, KMB first introduced a 3-axle MCW Super Metrobus 12m in 1981 and started the age of operating 3-axle buses. More than 300 12m 3-axle buses made by Leyland and Dennis were entered service between 1983-86 for and deploying on different trunk routes. For a better maneuverability with relatively high capacity, 11m 3-axle bus model first introduced in mid. of 1980s and set a new standard for KMB fleet until late 1990s.

In order to get a higher profit and providing a much comfortable bus service, the idea of air-conditioned bus service first introduced in 1975 when a Bedford YRQ mid-engined coach running on the airport bus service. A pair of double decker air-con. coach were introduced in 1980 and 1981 respectively for upgrading the service standard against the competition from the MTR. The air-conditioned bus service was not successful until 1985 when 20 Dennis Falcon put on the Airbus service. KMB started to seek air-con. double decker again in mid of 1980s and MCW was the first to send a demonstrator in 1987, however, this demonstrator was failed and the age of air-conditioned bus service was finally started until the success trial made by the Leyland Olympian prototype in 1988.

Instead of introduced more and more air-con. buses, KMB started to launch "Easy Access Bus" in response to the spirit of equal opportunities advocated by the government in 1996. A subsidiary company Long Win Bus was set up for tendering bus service serving Tung Chung New Town together with the new international airport located at Chek Lap Kok in the same year.  Long Win Bus was successfully gained the franchised of bus service between the New Territories and the Northern Lantau and launched these service since May, 1997. Year 1997 is a milestone for KMB when Hong Kong handover to China, KMB started to run a shuttle service between Lok Ma Chau and Huangguang checkpoint under Art East Co.(now known as New Hong Kong Bus Co.), a joint company with a Shenzhen based company on 20, Mar., 1997. In addition, though the number of "Easy Access Bus" increased from 2 to 12, we saw the delivery of the first Dennis Trident in the world in May, 1997. Passengers with different need can enjoy this convenient, reliable and comfort service since Nov., 1997. KMB Holdings was established in May, 1997 to reflect the diversity of business operated by KMB. Sun Bus was first set up by KMB Holdings in 1999 for the cuisines of non-franchised service in Hong Kong. In 2005, the name of KMB Holdings was changed to Transport International and Hong Kong.

We first saw KMB took delivery of buses complied with Euro 3 emission standard in 2002. To go one step further, a joint company was set up with Kowloon Ferry Holdings Limited, Park Island Transport Co., Ltd. , in the same year for providing public transport service within Park Island, a large scale residential project at Ma Wan developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.. Park Island Transport Co., Ltd. was became a subsidiary company of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd since 2009. In 2003, though super low floor air-conditioned bus service was already very common and matured in the market, KMB introduced an innovative idea by the "Super Bus" featured with a straight staircase and wider bus saloon. At present, this combination is a standard when purchasing new double decker.

The operation environment is full of challenge at present, to cope with it, KMB still working hard on different fields. The goal for fully air-conditioned was completed on 9, May, 2012 and indicated that the scene of conventional bus serving on the road would be never seen again. To response the voice of asking greener public transport, total 3 Supercapacitor Bus and electric bus was evaluated since 2010. The first to be tested is the Supercapacitor Bus, gBus, supplied by SUNWIN from Shanghai. Afterwards, another Supercapacitor Bus gBus2 from YoungMan was evaluated in 2012 and finally, a K9D electric bus demonstrator (eBus) from BYD was tested in 2013 and it is the only one to be tested on revenue service. A batch of 8 YoungMan Supercapacitor Bus introduced in 2015 and will be serving on shuttle service In Sha Tin and Kai Tak Development Area for revenue evaluation. Moreover, KMB received a batch of 3 hybrid version Enviro500MMC (known as E50H) from Alexander Dennis under sponsorship from HKSAR Government and the first was delivered in mid. of 2014 and revenue evaluation was started in Nov., 2014.

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