Community & Education Hong Kong Travel & Transport

97% of bus drivers work overtime, leading to safety issues, union says

Ninety-seven per cent of bus drivers work overtime, a survey conducted by the Civil Alliance for Advocating Standard Working Hours has shown.

The Alliance interviewed 76 bus drivers who work for CityBus Limited and New World First Bus Limited. 74 drivers from the survey said they work overtime on a weekly basis.

Among the drivers who reported working overtime, 78 percent said they work for 50 to 60 hours each week and 75 percent said they get an average of seven hours of sleep each day, Apple Daily reported.

bus driver working hours

Civil Alliance for Advocating Standard Working Hours. Photo: Facebook.

Eighty-three per cent of drivers surveyed said that long working hours affect their health, while 74 percent said they had experienced a desire to sleep while driving.

The Alliance cited the Transport Department’s guidelines, saying that the current maximum working hours for bus drivers is 14 hours per day.

Lam Hong-lim, Deputy Director of the New World First Bus Worker’s Union, said he used to experience back pain from working 13 hours each day. Lam recommended lowering bus drivers’ maximum daily working time from 14 hours to 12 hours, but keeping their salary at the same level.

Citing documents from the Transport Department and the Legislative Council, the Alliance said that there had been, on average, 195 bus-related accidents every month in 2014. It criticised the Transport Department for neglecting the issue of long working hours potentially leading to safety issues for bus drivers, passengers and other citizens.

97% of bus drivers work overtime, leading to safety issues, union says