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Hong Kong Buses - Volume 5
New World First Bus - The First Two Years
 
  
In 1994, Mike Davis published the first of four volumes on Hong Kong's buses. Mike has now brought the Hong Kong bus story into the 21st Century by writing a fifth volume about the buses of New World Bus Services Limited, a company founded in March 1998 for the express purpose of bidding for the franchise to operate 88 routes on Hong Kong Island, a franchise then held by China Motor Bus but which was due to expire unexpectedly on 31st August 1998. It goes without saying that the bid was successful with much financial and managerial effort by British based FirstGroup.

Mike follows the process which commenced with the announcement of the successful tenderer and follows events through to the days immediately prior to the change-over from one operator to the other.  British managers who have taken over a service from an incumbent may ask, "What is the big deal?"  How many have taken over 88 routes at once, involving over 700 buses and with many busy routes spanning the midnight take-over time?  Only 199 acquired buses were air-conditioned but NWFB committed to replacing no less than 500 non-air-conditioned vehicles within two years.  This it did in little more than 18-months!

But this series of  books is largely about buses and it is thus that the bulk of the text is concerned with the vehicles, the format following the previous four volumes in that each type or class of bus is described in as much detail as is available.  There are 20-year-old Leyland Victory and Dennis Jubilant double-deckers, the last front engined bus type to operate in Hong Kong as well as 500 state of the art 3-axle Dennis Trident and Volvo 'Super Olympian' bus types.

In A4 format, with 90 pages and 186 illustrations, most in colour, Mike has sought the best of the Hong Kong bus photographers as well as including a handful of his own. Technical information has been confirmed by the Chief Engineer at the time of the change-over and the Corporate Communications Department has given its support and assistance but, this is an independent book, not an official record by or for the Company.

During the mid-1990s, DTS Publishing produced four books on the Hong Kong bus scene; Vol 1 detailed the history of the China Motor Bus Company; Vol 2 covered the Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (1933) Ltd.; Vol 3 looked at Citybus Limited and Vol 4 was the Argos Bus Services Co. Ltd.  Although now out of print, these books remain the standard works on the subject.

  
 Title :  Hong Kong Buses - Volume 5 - 
 New World First Bus Services - The first two years
 Author :  Mike Davis
 Published by :  DTS Publishing, PO Box 105, Croydon, Surrey, UK
 Year of publication :  2000
 ISBN :  1 900515 20 2
 Size :  A4
 Pages :  90
 Price :  UK£ 21.95 
 

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