LCQ8: Public transport services

     Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Regina Ip and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (May 14):


     A member of the public has relayed to me that a franchised bus company does not provide its email address on its website. Passengers who wish to make enquiries or lodge complaints to the company can only call its hotline, but they often have to wait for over 30 minutes before they get connected. The member of the public said that the aforesaid situation had been relayed to the bus company concerned and the Transport Department (TD) on several occasions but no improvement had been made so far. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether the operating licences granted by the authorities to public transport operators (including franchised bus companies) require the operators to provide certain channels for members of the public to contact them; if so, of the details;

(2) whether TD will urge various franchised bus companies to improve their channels for members of the public to contact them, including making public their email addresses on their websites; and

(3) of the government department(s) with which members of the public may lodge complaints when they are dissatisfied with the replies from public transport operators to the complaints about the operators' services (e.g. lost trips of vehicles or ferries); and the follow-up procedures of such department(s)?


     The Government has all along been encouraging public transport operators to maintain effective communication with passengers through appropriate channels (including electronic ones). Having regard to the views reflected by members of the public and with the follow-up actions taken by the Transport Department (TD), franchised bus companies have all set up electronic communication channel (email addresses or online forms for passenger feedback). The reply to the three parts of Hon Mrs Regina Ip's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) According to the Operating Agreement signed between the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), MTRCL has to set up a system to handle passenger complaints and collect suggestions. In this connection, MTRCL has provided an Online Feedback Form on its website, a telephone hotline and a fax number for passengers to express their views. Besides, passengers may contact station staff directly or fill out the Passenger Suggestion Forms available at stations to reflect their views.

     Apart from the more conventional means of communication (i.e. telephone hotline, fax and post, etc.), the three franchised bus companies concerned have committed under the three bus franchises commencing in 2013 (granted to New World First Bus Services Limited, Long Win Bus Company Limited and Citybus Limited (Citybus) (for the Airport and North Lantau bus network) respectively) to provide passenger information and enquiry system via the Internet and smart phone applications. The companies have since been doing so and would further enhance the information and enquiry system where appropriate. At present, all franchised bus companies have provided on their websites online forms for passenger feedback or their email addresses. Upon expiry of the next batch of bus franchises, i.e. the other three bus franchises held by Citybus (for the Hong Kong Island and cross-harbour bus network), Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited and New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited respectively, in 2016 to 2017, the Government will make similar arrangements when granting new franchises.

     As regards ferries, the existing franchised and major licensed ferry operators have provided their email addresses for passengers to express their views. The telephone hotline of the operators and that of the Transport Complaints Unit (TCU) of the Transport Advisory Committee are also displayed at piers and on every vessel.

     Passenger service licences require public light bus (PLB) operators to display their telephone hotlines as well as that of TCU inside the compartment of each PLB. The law requires taxi owners to display the telephone hotline of TCU at conspicuous locations inside the taxi compartment. For trams, the Hong Kong Tramways, Limited has provided on its website an online form for passenger feedback, an email address, a telephone hotline and a fax number. Passengers can pass their views to the company via different channels.

(3) TD is responsible for monitoring the performance of the public transport operators. Passengers with views or complaints concerning public transport service may either contact the operators direct or approach TD through different channels (including by email (, telephone hotline (2804 2600), fax (2804 2652) or post (41/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong)).  Furthermore, passengers may also pass their views or complaints to TD via TCU (telephone hotline: 2889 9999; email address: or via the 1823 call centre.

     TD will take appropriate follow-up actions on complaints received through different channels. They include requesting the operators concerned to provide explanations or make improvements. If an operator is unable to give a reasonable explanation or make improvement, TD will issue reminder or warning in writing to the operator and require improvement measures to be implemented within a specified period. Besides, TD also conducts surveys and inspections on various public transport services from time to time to ensure that operators maintain proper and efficient services.

Ends/Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:35