New World First Bus

Parent Chow Tai Fook Enterprises
NWS Holdings
Founded 1 September 1998
Service area Hong Kong
Service type Bus services
Alliance Citybus
Routes 51
Depots 4
Fleet 709 (October 2015)[1]
Daily ridership 489,000 (2012)

New World First Bus Services Limited (NWFB) (Chinese: 新世界第一巴士服務有限公司) is the third largest bus operator in Hong Kong.

NWFB was established in 1998, taking over 88 China Motor Bus services on 1 September 1998 on Hong Kong Island. It is owned by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and NWS Holdings.


NWFB's officially last Dennis Condor non air-conditioned bus retired in August 2002
Neoplan Centroliner painted in the standard wavy livery
Refurbished Alexander R bodied Volvo Olympian in Causeway Bay in November 2005
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart SLF in July 2005
Second-handed Alexander R bodied Volvo Olympian, one in CMB livery, other repainted in NWFB livery at Chai Wan in August 1999
Alexander Dennis Enviro500 MMC, introduced in 2013.


Before NWFB commenced, franchised bus service in Hong Kong Island was provided by China Motor Bus (CMB) (franchisee since 1933) and Citybus (franchisee since 1991). In the early 1990s, the service levels of CMB were in decline. Therefore, the Government of Hong Kong started to introduce new competitors by transferring the franchise of CMB routes to other companies.

As a result, Citybus became the 2nd franchisee of the bus service on Hong Kong Island. Over 40 routes were transferred between 1991 and 1995.[2]

In spite of the loss of many profitable routes, the service of China Motor Bus did not show any significant improvement. In February 1998, the government announced the franchise for all 140 routes operated by China Motor Bus would not be reviewed when it expired 31 August 1998. Eighty-eight of the routes were placed to open tender, 12 routes were transferred directly to Citybus, one cross-harbour route to Kowloon Motor Bus, and the remaining routes were cancelled.[3][4]

Six companies lodged bids:[5][6]

New World First Holdings was considered a dark horse as it was the only bidder with no local bus operation experience. However, New World First Holdings was awarded a five-year franchise in March 1998 with commitments of new facilities, improved service standards and employment of CMB staff.[7][8]

Handover from China Motor Bus

During the handover in mid-1998, NWFB faced a lot of difficulties since China Motor Bus was reluctant to cooperate with New World First Bus. NWFB commenced operating at midnight on 1 September 1998 after a series of negotiations and with help from the government. The first official NWFB departure took place at 00:15 on route N8 with the first new bus in the fleet, no 1001. However NWFB had already started its operation of other non-overnight routes at midnight as CMB refused to operate after that time.

NWFB commenced operations with around 50 new buses and 710 former CMB buses, with the NWFB logo applied over the CMB logos and blue patches over the CMB corporate flag.[8]

Bus refurbishment

Having purchased large numbers of second-hand buses from China Motor Bus, New World First Bus started an extensive program to refurbish them. The floor, handrails, lighting system and seating layout were all upgraded. The seating arrangement of buses were slightly modified. A typical refurbished bus accommodated 10 fewer passengers than one before refurbishment.

Air pollution problems were also addressed in the refurbishment program. When the buses were first acquired, none of them had catalytic converters installed. Now, they have been installed, reducing emission of polluting exhaust gases and particulates by 50%.

Another initiative was to phase out non air-conditioned buses from its fleet. On 17 August 2002, NWFB's last non air-conditioned bus was withdrawn.

FirstGroup sale

In May 2000 FirstGroup sold its shares to joint venture partner New World Development giving it 100% ownership.[9]

Entering China's market

In January 2004 NWFB took a 51% shareholding in Kunming New World First Bus, a joint venture established with the Kunming government to operate services to Kunming in Yunnan on 39 routes with 700 buses.[9]

Cooperation with Citybus

In June 2003 fellow franchised bus operator Citybus was purchased by NWFB parent company NWS Holdings, bringing the bus services of Hong Kong Island once again under control of a single organisation.[9]

Before the acquisition, many of the two companies' competing routes overlap each other. In order to make better use of company resources, many routes were reshuffled. Redundant routes were cancelled, and Octopus card bus-bus interchange discounts were introduced between routes of both companies.

Bus fleet

As at 2014, the entire fleet consisted of 800 buses where majority are low-floor, and also majority are double-deck.[10]


When the government decided to terminate China Motor Bus' franchise, New World First Bus acquired 88 routes. Other routes were handed over to Citybus and Kowloon Motor Bus. New World First Bus now also operates bus routes in the New Kowloon Development Area and Tseung Kwan O. On the bus stop signs, different types of routes are distinguished by different colors. As at November 2013 NWFB operates 51 routes.[10]

Hong Kong Island routes

The numbering of bus routes follow a logical pattern.

Cross Harbour Tunnel routes

New World First Bus stop in Sunshine City Plaza, Ma On Shan, it is served by the exclusive NWFB Eastern Harbour Tunnel route 682

All Cross Harbour Tunnel Routes have 3 digit numbers.

Kowloon & New Territories routes

The same colour codes as those on Hong Kong Island apply for NWFB's Kowloon and New Territories Network. To distinguish NWFB routes from Kowloon Motor Bus routes, each route's number has 3 digits and all begin with 7.

Fare scheme

All passengers on New World First Bus are required to pay the exact fare upon getting on the bus. The bus fare can be paid by cash or by Octopus card. Children and Senior Citizens (people aged 65 or older) pay a Concessionary Fare, which is half of the full fare.

Sectional fare

Sectional fares apply to some of the longer routes. If a passenger gets on the bus after a specified stop that situates further away from the start of the route, he/she may pay less. Furthermore, passengers of routes 14, 15 and N8P may also pay less if they do not wish to travel the entire length of the route.

The rebate can be accessed by Octopus Card or cash.

To enjoy the rebate using an Octopus Card, the passenger has to place his Octopus Card on the reader twice in the entire journey, once when he/she boards and once when he alights. The rebate will then be added to the stored value of his Octopus Card. For instance, if a passenger takes route 15 from the Peak, and alights at Wan Chai Gap, he/she will only pay $6.80 rather than the full fare of $9.20 when he/she uses his Octopus Card.

Apart from that, the passenger can place the sectional fare into the farebox. However, this is permitted at the discretion of the driver.

Bus-bus Interchange Scheme

After Citybus was purchased by NWFB's parent company NWS Holdings in June 2003, the Bus-bus Interchange Scheme was introduced to encourage passengers to change buses. Not only does this allow the passenger to save money, it also allows redundant routes to be cancelled.

The scheme is only available to users of Octopus Cards. When a commuter pays with an Octopus Card, the record of the bus route will be stored in the card. Then, as he boards any bus route supported by the scheme to continue his journey, a discounted fare will be deducted from his Octopus card, rather than the full fare.

For example, if a passenger boards route 23, and changes to route 26 in the Admiralty Gardens, he will not be charged any fare when he boards the 26, as long as both journeys were paid for by Octopus Cards within 90 minutes.

Same Day Return

In early 2005, Citybus and New World First Bus jointly introduced Same Day Return Fares. The fare is available for their solely operated Cross Harbour routes with bus fares exceeding $15 and for NWFB's Kowloon and New Territories network.

In mid-2006, the Same Day Return Fare was extended to all Cross Harbour routes with fares over $10, regardless of the operator. Routes with fares between $10 and $14.90 enjoy a 10% discount on the return trip, while routes exceeding $15 enjoy a 20% discount on the return trip.

As long as the passenger uses the same Octopus Card on both of his journeys, the discounted fare will be automatically deducted from his octopus card in the second journey.

For example, the single journey fare for route 682 is $18.20, hence the passenger will be charged only $16.40 on his second journey if he uses an Octopus Card.

Value Pack

To encourage people to go sightseeing on NWFB buses, a Value Pack has been set up for the following 3 sets of routes:

From Central/North Point to Stanley:

From Stanley to Sai Wan Ho:

From Sai Wan Ho to Central:

The passenger is encouraged to travel around Hong Kong Island either in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction starting at Central or North Point, stopping at Stanley on the way. As long as he uses an Octopus Card and takes the bus in the correct sequence of routes, he will receive a $1 interchange discount on the 2nd and 3rd rides.

Bus amenities & services

Interior of a NWFB Dennis Trident 3 fitted out to FirstGroup specifications

Onboard television

In most buses, there are television screens installed on both the lower and upper saloon, known as FirsTVsion. They provide various entertainment programs, programs of Radio Television Hong Kong, as well as some advertisements. The television on NWFB was once operated by Star East subsidiary M-Channel, and later it turned to be operated by NWFB's sister company and named the TV FirstTVision. In 2005, RoadShow acquired FirstTVision and started to broadcast their own programs on NWFB.

Next stop indication & sight explanations

All buses are fitted with PA systems.

Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus

In October 2009 NWFB commenced operating through its Rickshaw Sightseeing Bus subsidiary.


Rival transit operators

See also


  1. "Average age and respective numbers of buses in the fleet of each franchised bus company" (PDF). Legislative Council. 18 November 2015.
  2. History Citybus
  3. Daily Information Bulletin Hong Kong Government Information Services 17 February 1998
  4. Panel on Transport (Minutes) Provisional Legislative Council 21 February 1998
  5. CKI Forms Consortium To Bid for Bus Tender Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings 13 March 1998
  6. Bus groups battle for Hong Kong tender Herald Scotland 14 March 1998
  7. UK bus operator wins £55m franchise The Independent 1 April 1998
  8. 1 2 Panel on Transport (Papers) Legislative Council Panel on Transport 31 July 1998
  9. 1 2 3 Milestones 2000 NWS Holdings Limited
  10. 1 2 New World First Bus Hong Kong Transport Department
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.