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Buses, MTR, ferries to reduce passenger services

02 March 2022

By The SUN


The bus companies have been hit with high infections and low patronage

Hong Kong’s main bus companies, the MTR Corporation and ferry companies have all announced reduced passenger services amid the rise in infections among their staff and a drop in passenger numbers.

In a press release issued Wednesday night, the Transport Department said that it has given approval to the franchised bus companies, mainly the Kowloon Motor Bus, New World First Bus, Citybus, Long Win Bus and New Lantao Bus to reduce services from Mar 4 to 16.

The Department also allowed the companies to suspend 98 routes with alternative public transport services available, five recreational routes operated during weekends and one overnight route.

In reaching the decision, the Department said it took into account factors such as manpower shortage, drop in patronage, occupancy, availability of alternative public transport services and efficient deployment of resources.

Meantime the frequencies of bus routes mainly serving tourists, heading to land boundary control points and the airport have already been cut or the service suspended due to the implementation of anti-epidemic measures at the border.

For details of the service adjustments, consult the announcements on the websites of the bus companies: 



New World First Bus


Kowloon Motor Bus

Long Win Bus

New Lantao Bus

MTR trains will be traveling at less frequency, resulting to longer waits for passengers

The MTR Corporation also announced that weekday services of eight railway lines will be reduced from Friday, which will result in passengers having to wait one to four minutes longer for trains.

Both peak and non-peak services will be affected for the eight lines, namely East Rail, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Island, South Island, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung and Tuen Ma.

Train frequencies of the East Rail Line during weekends and public holidays will also be slightly adjusted.


For the East Rail line, waiting time for morning peak period from 7.30am to 9.30am will be lengthened from a range of 2.9 to 3.5 minutes, to between 6 and 7 minutes.

Waiting time for Tsuen Wan line will increase from 2 minutes to a range of 3 to 3.6 minutes during the same period.

As for Island line, the normal wait of between 1.9 to 2.9 minutes will be lengthened to a range of 3.4 to 3.6 minutes.


The MTR said the change resulted from staff shortage due to Covid-19 and a drastic reduction in patronage.

Around 1,500 staff are unable to report for work after catching the virus, while the number of passengers taking the trains during peak hours on weekdays dropped by more than half in the second half of February this year, compared to December 2021.

Sun Ferry, which sails between North Point and Hung Hom or Kowloon City, has announced it will suspend both routes from Thursday until notice. The company said that more than 360 employees need to be tested and quarantined.


Meanwhile, Star Ferry has already started reducing or adjusting services. Starting Feb 28, the Wanchai to Tsim Sha Tsui service will be suspended at 8:50pm (depart at TST) and 9pm (depart at Wanchai).

The Central to TST service, on the other hand, has delayed its starting time to 7am, and its end time at 9pm until further notice.

The updated schedule is below:

Monday to Saturday:

From TST: 7:20am to 8:50pm

From Wanchai: 7:30am to 9:00pm

(Frequency is 20-22 minutes)

Sundays and Public Holidays:

From TST: 7:30am to 8:50pm

From Wanchai: 7:40am to 9:00pm

(Frequency is 20-22 minutes)

Monday to Sunday and Public Holidays:

From TST: 7am to 9:00pm

From Central: 7am to 9pm

Frequency: 10-12 minutes
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