Nighttime trial of app-based bus service in Central disrupted as police disperse buses

Jason Yuen

23rd September 2023 – (Hong Kong) SOCIF Limited, a Hong Kong-based startup, recently launched the “easytransit” platform to provide transportation services for late-night commuters during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day period from Friday next week until October 2nd. In collaboration with the Non-Franchised Bus Association Limited, the platform conducted a trial run in Lan Kwai Fong, Central during yesterday evening. However, the trial faced setbacks as three tourist buses waiting to pick up passengers on Wellington Street were repeatedly dispersed by the police. Eventually, after negotiations, they were allowed to remain and wait for passengers to board. Jason Yuen, the founder of the platform, expressed his commitment to strengthening coordination with the police and the Transport Department, as well as identifying more suitable locations for passenger pick-up and drop-off.

Under the trial initiative, easytransit and the Non-Franchised Bus Association Limited stationed three tourist buses in Lan Kwai Fong to simulate the transportation of late-night revellers back to different locations in the city. The buses served as routes from Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, and North Point to Tseung Kwan O. Several prominent figures, including Legislative Council Member Perry Yiu, TIC Chairman Mrs Gianna Hsu Wong Mei-lun, and Hong Kong Tourism Association executive director Timothy Chui Ting-pong, were present to show their support for the initiative.

Jason Yuen, the founder of the platform, acknowledged the need for improved coordination with the police and the Transport Department. He emphasised that “easytransit” would continue its trial operation in Lan Kwai Fong during weekends. Commuters can simply download the application and reserve a bus ride home for free. Each bus has a capacity of 24 to 27 passengers, and routes and schedules can be adjusted flexibly based on demand.