Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Picture of the Day: Getting on the Bus

The mobile Octopus machine reader during rush hour
In Beijing, I used to take the bus and my colleagues would complain traffic was horrific, but I felt these were a more comfortable alternative to the subway, or at least good for short distances.

Many of the buses are accordion ones and so you could swipe your card at the front, middle and back of the bus.

Here in Hong Kong, you swipe your Octopus card only at the front and it is expected passengers will move towards the back, but they don't always do that, particularly during rush hour.

A bus company assistant at one of the stops
So it's good to know the bus companies have thought of other ways to make sure commuters can still get on the bus during rush hour.

They have a mobile Octopus swipe machine and a bus company attendant manning some stops. When the bus arrives, some people get off at the middle and so there's sometimes space there.

So commuters swipe their cards at the mobile machine and then get on in the middle and fill that space. And when it's full or there's no more passengers, the attendant alerts the bus driver and we go on our way again.

It's very efficient, granted its crowded, but at least gives a chance for commuters in the middle of the route to at least get on the bus...


  1. Saw this used recently myself, it wasn't even rush hour although still plenty crowded. It saved a lot of time and aggravation.

    1. HI Diana! Thanks for the comment! Interesting to hear it was used during non rush hour periods. It definitely gives commuters a better chance of getting on the bus.