First low-floor wheelchair accessible Public Light Bus to commence service this Friday (with photo)

     The Transport Department (TD) today (January 24) announced that the low-floor wheelchair accessible Public Light Bus (PLB) trial scheme will commence on January 26 (Friday) and the first low-floor wheelchair accessible PLB will be put into service on Hong Kong Island green minibus (GMB) route No. 54M (Kennedy Town Station - Queen Mary Hospital) in a trial operation. 

     A spokesman for the TD said, "We are glad to announce that the first low-floor wheelchair accessible PLB will be put into service in order to further promote the concept of transport for all. The trial scheme is one of the measures put forward in the Public Transport Strategy Study published in June 2017, with an aim to facilitating wheelchair users to use PLB services."

     The first low-floor PLB has space for one wheelchair. It will operate from 7am to 12.40pm and 2pm to 7.40pm from Monday to Friday (except public holidays) at a service headway of around 30 minutes. There will be no services on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The operator will display the detailed service timetable at the stops on the GMB route. 

     Moreover, the operator will provide a telephone reservation service for wheelchair users. Passengers may call the operator hotline (2873 6808) to reserve the wheelchair space up to 14 days in advance and at least one working day before taking the service. Wheelchair passengers with a reservation may use the service with one accompanying person and they have to state their request when making the reservation. 

     The spokesman added, "Since the telephone reservation service will enable wheelchair passengers using the low-floor PLB, we encourage wheelchair passengers to make use of the reservation service as far as possible."

     After the low-floor PLB has been put into service, the TD will closely monitor the service. The trial scheme will be extended by phases to another two hospital routes operating via Prince of Wales Hospital and St Teresa's Hospital respectively. The TD plans to review the operational effectiveness of the trial scheme by end-2018 and will discuss with the trade on further promoting low-floor PLBs if the trial scheme proves to be effective.

Ends/Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:58