There are approximately 5 independent bus services in Hong Kong now, including Kowloon Motor Bus, New World First Bus, Citybus, New Lantao Bus and Long Win Bus. Bus routes cover almost every corner of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. Most of the buses are air-conditioned. What’s more, if you take the double-deckers, you can have the great views of the surrounding city.
There is a useful tool for planning your journey provided by the HK Transport department, you can search route options for buses and MTR trains: hkemobility.gov.hk, it provides journey options, route map and fare comparison. You can also download it as an app for Android or Iphone.
Another useful app for transport in Hong Kong is Citymapper which gives you the nearest bus stop, bus routes, bus arrival time, route planning, and fare cost.
For fares, if you are going to be in HK for a few days you may find it worthwhile to get an Octopus Card, which can be used for buses, MTR, some taxis, and other services see http://www.octopus.com.hk/... Otherwise you’ll want to be carrying coins to pay the fares, there’s no change given.
There is something important to note about Hong Kong buses and fares that is, even if you are going one-stop, you need to pay full fare. It is unlike the MTR where you tap on and tap off with the fare calculated by distance. With the buses, you only tap on once and it’s a flat fare. So, you need to choose the right bus. As the bus gets closer to its destination the total fare does reduce for passengers boarding at that point.
For paying by cash, no change is given and the fare is displayed on a screen as you step in the front door and you simply dump your notes/coins into the slot.
Stations are announced in three languages including English and there are also displays showing the next station.
The buses are all modern, clean and comfortable but they do get busy around the peak times of 9 and 5. Most of the buses are the double-decker variety and for smaller local routes there are the PLBs or Public Light Buses also known as Green Mini Buses.
Green minibuses (GMBs) operate on fixed routes at fixed fares and you can pay by Octopus card or by cash and again, no change is given. There are also red minibuses but these are a little rarer and they operate there own chosen routes.
Here are the five bus services that operate in Hong Kong and the areas they service, follow the links for timetables and routes. The most popular bus company’s for tourists are the CityBus and KMB which between them service Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Note, using Citymapper or HKeMobility gives you route planning/fares for all of these services.
Kowloon Motor Bus Company
Mainly provides service in Kowloon and New Territories, operating total 402 routes. Some of them are cross-harbour routes.
Mainly provides service on Hong Kong Island, operating 154 routes. 72 routes are on Hong Kong Island, 32 of them are North-Lantau and Airport routes, and the final 50 of the routes are cross-harbour routes. Other than those, Citybus operates shuttle routes B3, B3A and B3X between Tuen Mun and Shenzhen Bay Port.
New World First Bus Services Limited
Mainly provides service on Hong Kong Island, and provides routes in Kowloon and Tseung Kwan O. It operates some cross-harbour routes.
Long Win Bus Company Limited
Mainly services Tung Chung, Disneyland Resort and routes shuttling between the Airport and New Territories.
New Lantao Bus Company
Mainly provides service on Lantau Island, operating a total of 20 routes.
There are also tour bus services: