Kwun Tong will have Hong Kong’s first indoor bus waiting area from 2021, with a brand-new ring design keeping passengers cool, entertained and clear of engine fumes until they’re ready to board.
Hong Kong’s bus terminals generally follow a conventional straight-through model, a design which puts priority on buses, not passengers. Pollution, heat and fast-moving buses across un-marked open roads make navigating such terminals unpleasant, according to the managing director of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), Wai Chi-sing.
But the new Kwun Tong terminal, built as part of the major town redevelopment, puts passengers first. According to Wai, the terminal features an unconventional ring design, with bus parking at the centre and pickup/drop-off points around the periphery. Buses will enter and exit through the northwest corner and drive clockwise around the ring, diverting into parking, pickup or drop-off as required. One floor is for franchised buses, the lower floor for minibuses, and all indoor waiting areas are directly connected to the Yue Man Shopping Centre. Additionally, a protected pedestrian rooftop path is planned to connect to Kwun Tong MTR.
Something else unconventional: the bus terminal will feature seats for waiting – passengers will no longer have to lean against railings or crouch on the floor.
Doors to the bus area will open automatically when the bus is ready to board, similar to inter-terminal transit bus systems at Hong Kong International Airport. And the whole terminal will be covered by free wifi, according to Wai.
Lastly, in a nod towards a greener future bus fleet, Wai says URA is considering requests from minibus operators to install recharging stations in the minibus terminal.
There are, however, no plans for electric bus recharging points in the main terminal.