Hong Kong’s Executive Council has approved plans by owning group Bravo Transport to merge its subsidiaries Citybus and New World First Bus (NWFB) under one franchise, with the merger lasting for 10 years before a reapplication is necessary, reports Hong Kong’s The Standard newspaper.
The new franchise will be named Citybus Limited and will run from July 2023 until 2033. A government spokesperson said in a statement that the merger will not result in any fare changes for existing routes. The statement added that the two existing franchises’ service areas are largely overlapping, and the merger is expected to facilitate continuous improvement and rationalisation of the city’s franchised bus network.
It noted that the move will enable the bus company to deploy its resources more flexibly to enhance existing services or introduce new services and provide more comprehensive public transport ancillary facilities to keep up with the times. Bravo Transport said the merger will open a new chapter in the area’s public transport industry and will provide a bus network covering the whole of Hong Kong.
In a separate decision, the council also granted two new 10-year franchises to Long Win Bus Company and Citybus, both of which will begin upon the expiry of their current franchises on 1 May 2023, and run until 1 May 2033.
Bravo Transpot described the merger as a defining moment in the history of Hong Kong public transportation. “As we become one family under the iconic Citybus brand, we will continuously improve the customer experience, and provide a comprehensive bus network and travel choices serving the Hong Kong citizens, the firm said. ”Citybus has been serving Hong Kong for 43 years. When Citybus was established, it was a pioneer in the development of public franchised bus operations in Hong Kong, bringing creative and new ideas to the market, whilst increasing the level of service quality. Gradually there will be more and more of our iconic yellow buses on the roads across Hong Kong as the Citybus brand becomes established across our whole operations.”