Bus #1: Destination Efficiency 巴士 #1 ： 一線效率
Hong Kong bus transport began in the 1920s. But being run by several operators independently, the services remained inefficient and confusing until the government franchised them to private companies in 1933. Although disrupted during World War II and horse carts were re-introduced then, bus services in Hong Kong resumed with modified trucks when the British returned after the war.
The influx of post-war immigrants from China had made it impossible for single-decker buses to cope with demand so “Daimler A” double-decker buses were introduced in 1949. With the advent of the taller buses, the government had to prune the roadside trees and ensure neon light signs were at least 4.8 meters above ground.
In the past, every bus has a team of around 4 staff members on board including a driver, a fare collector, a ticket checker and a gateman. During busy hours, it was not uncommon to see fare collectors catching the fare jumpers. In the 1970s, fare collection boxes and one-man-operation (OMO) was introduced as the functions other than driver were made redundant.
From single to double-decker, buses have always re-invented themselves and survived the test of time. They are not only a means of transportation, but also a collective memory of the passengers. Both of them are on the same route towards destination “Efficiency”. Next Stop is?
People may ride on the same bus, but they might be from different cultures, making communication difficult. It’s not easy for the duck and the chicken to figure out their path together.
Duck & Chicken • Understand? No, no!
Quack Quack! Without communication, low efficiency.
Collage designed by HK artist: Ms. Grace Tam.
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