There were 4 ground immigration control points, Lo Wu, Sha Tau Kok, Man Kam To and Lok Ma Chau (Huanggang), in Hong Kong in early 1990s. Sha Tau Kok and Man Kam To Port serve for both goods and passengers purpose, however, commuters can only to and from China through crossing points by cross border bus, with limited route networks and charged at a quite expensive level. Lok Ma Chau Port only serving goods vehicle before Aug., 1991 and as a result, Lo Wu Port become the most important immigration control point with China as passengers can access there by KCR.
Cross border bus got one more choice for crossing border as Huanggang Port provided service for passengers since 8, Aug., 1991. In addition, an idea of shuttle bus service between Huanggang was proposed to relief the pressure of Lo Wu Port. Finally, the shuttle bus service, running between Lok Ma Chau public transport interchange, San Tin, Hong Kong and Huanggang Port, Shenzhen, was launched on 20, March, 1997, before the handover of Hong Kong to China in Jul., 1997.
This shuttle bus service is operated by Art East Co., Ltd., a joint company of KMB and a bus company form Shenzhen, Art East was then renamed as New Hong Kong Bus Co., Ltd. in 1998 and at present, NHKB is a fully subsidiary company of Transport International and Hong Kong, the parent company of KMB. The shuttle bus is nicknamed "Yellow Bus' or simply "Huang Ba", as the China side terminus located as Huanggang Port and a famous child magazine name "Yellow Bus" in the past.
When first entered service, the shuttle bus fleet was composed of 10 Dennis Dart midibuses bodied by Northern Counties and and successfully attracted commuters used to cross border by railway. The demand was soon cannot just satisfied by the Dart and tourist suffered from waiting at least two hours at Lok Ma Chau Bus Station, without any air conditioning, during peak seasons. To solve the problem, a pair of Hino coaches with local Wong Ming Auto Builder were first introduced in 2000. Though the capacity was much higher for the Hino, they were considered not very suitable for this short-distanced with high demand service.
The demand for the Huanggang shuttle service was expected to be continuously increase, NHKB decided to acquire a full-sized super low floor single decker, MAN NL263 and they started to commission in 2001. The service standard soon upgraded with their higher capacity together with the low floor designed. Though Volvo and Scania from Sweden can be found in the fleet since 2003 when 24-hours operation of Lok Ma Chau checkpoint implemented, MAN is still the first choice for NHKB as fleet replacement and meet the growing demand, three batches of new buses bodied by Gemilang of Malaysia were delivered in 2006, 2010 and 2013 respectively.
Nowadays passenger can enjoy a much comfortable environment and spend less waiting time at the air conditioned waiting lounge at the San Tin bus terminus. It was not surprised that there was an adverse impact on the shuttle bus service when the introduction of the new cross border railway and control points. However, it is believed that the shuttle bus service between Huanggang and Lok Ma Chau still play a significant role in the land-based cross boundary transport no matter at present or in the near future.
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|丹尼士飛鏢 Dennis Dart||
|猛獅 NL263 MAN NL263||
|猛獅 18.320 MAN 18.320||
|猛獅 NL323 MAN NL323||
|富豪 B7RLE Volvo B7RLE||
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