Hong Kong government is considering reducing 100 buses in the city to ease air pollution and traffic congestion while the public doubt if any agreement can be reached on the reduction, said Hong Kong newspapers Saturday.
South China Morning Post, an English newspaper in the city, said the government plans to reduce the number of buses by 2 percent to ease traffic jams and the idea will be under district consultation early next year.
Green groups support the reconstruction plan, citing the bus emissions is one of the major factors of air pollution and reducing number of buses will be a progress toward clean air.
Oriental Daily News, a local Chinese newspaper, said Wong Chi-kong, the Commissioner for Transport, believed the reconstruction of bus routes won't affect the benefits of bus drivers because when some routes being restructured, new routes will be created at the same time.
However, the idea of reducing buses runs into opposition of passengers, especially residents living in remote districts, who depend on buses for daily transportation. They believe using green fuel will be a better idea to reduce emission comparing with reducing bus numbers.
Wong Chi-kong admitted the efforts may not succeed if a triple-win agreement between the government, bus companies and the district councils cannot be reached.
According to figures from the Transport Department, there are totally 5,900 buses in the city run by 10,000 bus drivers.
(Xinhua News Agency October 21, 2006)