This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Machanism for reviewing bus frequency'.

Guidelines on Service Improvement and 
Reduction in Bus Route Development Programmes 
Service Improvement 
If the occupancy rate of any bus route reaches 100% during any half-hour
of the peak period and 85% during that one hour, or reaches 60% during
the busiest one hour of the off-peak period, the Transport Department (TD)
will consider the deployment of more vehicles to enhance the service level.
In increasing the vehicle allocation, priority will be given to redeploying
vehicles saved from other rationalisation items.
If the frequency improvement alone is not sufficient to meet demand and
no practical alternatives are available, we will give consideration to the
provision of new bus service, with priority to serve areas that are beyond
the catchment area of existing railways or railway feeders.    In approving
any new bus service, we will also consider the impact of such new service
on the traffic condition on major roads, and will as far as possible refrain
from providing long haul bus routes or routes that operate via busy districts
such as Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay etc.
Service Reduction 
In pursuance of our policy objective of providing a safe, efficient and 
reliable transport system in a sustainable environment, franchised bus routes with 
low utilisation would be rationalised from time to time to enhance bus operation 
efficiency while meeting passenger demand and  matching local operating 
environment, reducing traffic congestion and roadside emission.  These 
guidelines set out the situations whereby rationalisation measures such as 
adjustment to service frequency and timetable, route cancellation / amalgamation, 
route truncation, etc. would be pursued. 

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(III)  Reduction of Bus Trips along Busy Corridors 

In view of concentration of activities in the urban areas leading to serious 
environmental and traffic concerns, TD is committed to reducing the 
number of bus trips along busy corridors and bus stoppings through 
various measures of service cancellation / reduction and route 
rationalisation.    If it is inevitable for new routes or enhanced bus services 
to operate via these busy corridors, the bus operators will have to reduce 
the same number of trips plying through the same corridor from other 
routes in order not to aggravate the traffic and environmental conditions in 
these busy corridors. 
(IV) Frequency 
If the average occupancy rate of an individual route is below 85% during 
the peakiest half-hour of the peak period, or below 30% during the 
off-peak period, TD will consider reducing bus deployment for the route.     
Railway feeder routes, socially essential routes (such as bus routes serving 
remote areas or where the majority of the passengers are elderlies) with no 
alternatives available, and routes with peak headways at 15 minutes or 
more will be considered on individual merits.     
Route Cancellation / Amalgamation 
If the utilisation of a low-frequency route does not improve (i.e. a bus route 
with average occupancy rate lower than 50% during peak hour, despite its 
headways having already been reduced to 15 minutes and 30 minutes 
during peak hours and off-peak hours respectively), TD will consider 
proposing cancellation of the route or amalgamation of the route with other 
route(s) in consultation with the bus operators.     
(VI) Route 
To optimise the use of resources, TD will review with relevant bus 
operators the feasibility of truncating routes, in particular those where 
majority of the passengers will have alighted en route.  In formulating 
truncation proposals, TD will consider whether the number of affected 

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passengers is excessive (i.e. the occupancy rate of not more than 20% to 
30% at the proposed truncated section during the peakiest hour); whether 
enough roadside space is available to accommodate the affected passengers 
for interchange; and whether terminal space for the changed route is 
Factors to be Considered in Bus Service Rationalisation 
In formulating rationalisaton proposals, in particular those where drastic 
measures are to be adopted, TD would give due consideration to ensure that the 
interests of passengers would be taken care of and to minimise impact on them as 
far as possible.    Factors that will be taken into account include: 
(a)  nature of the services proposed to be cancelled:  For services the 
utilisation rates of which have been consistently low but are socially 
essential (i.e. those serving remote areas or where majority of the 
passengers are elderlies) and without reasonable alternatives, TD would 
consider other means to improve the service performance, such as through 
the use of vehicles with smaller carrying capacities, provision of 
alternatives such as introduction of replacement green minibus services, 
(b)  availability of reasonable alternatives:    In proposing service cancellation, 
measures have to be taken to ensure that reasonable alternatives for the 
affected passengers are provided as far as possible.    Factors such as the 
availability of spare capacity of alternative services in taking up the 
diverted passengers, the number and convenience of interchanges 
involved, the total journey time (including interchange and on-vehicle 
time) as compared with the existing services, etc, would be assessed 
carefully to ensure the reasonableness of the alternative services; 
(c)  fare of the best available alternative service:    The total journey fare as 
compared with the fare of the existing service would be assessed.  
Positive consideration to route cancellation will be given if the total 
journey fare is not higher than that of the service being considered for 
cancellation.  The relevant bus operators would also be requested to 
consider the provision of fare concessions, such as interchange discounts, 
section fares, special discounts to elderly, and other incentives wherever 
appropriate and feasible, to provide attraction to the affected passengers 
to facilitate the implementation of the rationalisation proposals; 

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(d) transport operational considerations:  The proposed service
rationalisation should not cause undue hardship to passengers or
operational problems.  Factors such as the number of passengers
requiring interchanges, the availability of space for interchange activities,
etc. would be carefully assessed.    The deployment of the saved vehicles
to improve services within the same district would also be spelt out where
(e) impact of the proposed service rationalisation on bus captains:    Factors
to be considered include the number of bus captains that would be
affected by the proposed service rationalisation, and whether the excess
bus captains could be absorbed through natural wastage or other means
without causing any major staff issues; and
environmental benefits arising from the service rationalisation:
Environmental benefits such as the reduction in emission, reduction of
bus trips in busy corridors, etc. would be spelt out in the consultation
documents for the public to take note of.

Document Outline