Transport bureau requests bus ops to improve vehicle maintenance

The Transport Bureau (DSAT) has emphasized that the report in response to a recent bus fire had been sought from the concerned bus company.

The comment was made in response to lawmaker Ella Lei’s written inquiry regarding the bus fire that happened in January. No injuries were sustained in the event, which involved the car-top battery emitting smoke.

The event concerned a bus that operated on battery power, which is normally referred to as an Electric Vehicle (EV).

In her inquiry, Lei emphasized that although the event had not caused injury, the government should make clear announcements on how public safety can be ensured and maintenance work be improved.

In response to the inquiry, DSAT director Lam Hin San emphasized that his bureau had immediately sought a report on the event from the bus company, while requesting the two local bus companies to improve upon areas such as vehicle maintenance and information dissemination.

The official also disclosed that the bus companies were requested to continuously improve training for bus drivers on emergency management and to hold regular drills with the government.

In his reply, the official made no mention of whether bus companies had been or would be requested to choose buses that have higher reliability standards.

After the event, the bus company suspended the type of bus from service until they were deemed safe for use.

The lawmaker also asked if there was any smart equipment to monitor bus conditions in real-time, as well as if the cyclical mode of maintenance could be altered to suit new trends. In response, Lam pointed out that smart monitoring is practiced, without replying to the question regarding mode of maintenance.

According to Lei, as of September 2022, the city has 955 buses serving 85 bus routes. Buses running on natural gas, electricity or on vehicle generated electricity accounted for nearly one-third of all buses.

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