(12 July 2022, Hong Kong) Bravo Transport today announced the merger of Citybus Limited (Franchise for Hong Kong Island and Cross Harbour Bus Network)(“Citybus Franchise 1)”) and New World First Bus Services Limited (“NWFB”) franchise into the newly created Citybus Limited (Franchise for the Urban and New Territories Bus Network) effective from 1 July 2023. The merger is a defining moment in the history of Hong Kong public transportation as we become one family under the iconic Citybus brand. We will invest over 3.5 billion HKD in the next 10 years, improving the customer experience and providing a comprehensive, fit-for-purpose network and travel choices serving the entire city.
The renewal of the Citybus (Franchise 2), which serves our Airport and North Lantau bus network, will be effective from 1 May 2023. Both franchises will last for a period of 10 years.
Our iconic Citybus brand has been proudly serving Hong Kong for 43 years. When Citybus was established, it was a pioneer in the development of public franchised bus operations in Hong Kong, bringing creative and new ideas to the market, whilst increasing the level of service quality. Combining the total strength of our operations under the Citybus banner, Citybus will continue to be the pioneer and a leader in Hong Kong’s public transportation sector.
We are committed to improving and enhancing the customer experience by investing in our colleagues and making ongoing investments into our customer facilities during the term of the franchise. In the next ten-year franchise term, we will invest over 3.5 billion HKD into the business. These investments include customer and colleague facilities, the upgrading of existing and creation of new garages and depots along with the ongoing purchase of buses and supporting infrastructure for our business development and zero-emission transformation journey.
By merging the Citybus and NWFB franchises, all our colleagues including the many bus captains and mechanics along with our buses and facilities can be utilized more effectively and with maximum efficiency, creating synergies that will deliver improved services to all our customers. It will also provide us with the economies of scale to directly compete with other major players in the industry. By working to evolve and re-invigorate our networks to match changing customer demands and travel patterns, we will re-define, consolidate and introduce new bus routes, including those serving new development areas to provide a comprehensive fit-for-purpose route network and choice serving the entire city, which will ultimately benefit every citizen.
The transition will take place in several phases over a period of time. Gradually there will be more and more of our iconic yellow buses on the roads across Hong Kong as the Citybus brand becomes established across our whole operations. Upon the merger, all our current Citybus and NWFB colleagues will finally be working under the same company as one big family. As NWFB will cease to exist as an operating entity and franchise holder, our NWFB colleagues will instead be employed by Citybus. Their levels of pay and benefits will remain unchanged at the point of the merger and there will be no redundancy for our frontline bus captains because of the merger.
Mr. Cliff Zhang, Chairman of Bravo Transport said: “We are grateful for the government’s collaboration and ongoing work with us on our proposal to merge the Citybus (Franchise 1) and NWFB franchise into one single new franchise, Citybus (Franchise for Urban and New Territories Network), and the extension of the franchise of Citybus (Franchise 2). Our aim throughout this process has been to ensure that our operating franchises are prepared and fit for the future. This will allow the company to deliver its strategic vision and operate successfully, whilst delivering wider benefits and security to both employees and citizens. As Citybus and NWFB finally come together under one banner, we can continue our focus on turning Citybus into a top-class public bus operator that will create a modal shift onto public transport and importantly return growth to the public transport market, whilst better serving citizens across Hong Kong.”
About Bravo Transport
Citybus and New World First Bus are owned by Bravo Transport Services and are committed to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Hong Kong that we serve whilst providing safe and reliable bus services. The company employs over 5,000 staff, operates over 1,700 buses across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories and carries over 1m customers per day. Bravo Transport has an industry-leading bus fleet with most of the buses operating franchised public bus services operating at Euro5 or above.