九龍巴士 Kowloon Motor Bus
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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