Nowadays, with a territory-wide network, buses provide millions of commuters with convenient and reliable services every day. This popular means of transport has kept pace with the times and continuous improvements are made in terms of the buses' bodywork, capacity, comfort level and their effect on the environment. Hongkong Post issues a set of special stamps on "Hong Kong Buses", which features seven prototypes of buses from different decades and offers an overview of the development of buses in Hong Kong.
$1.40 Tilling Stevens Bus: In 1947, the Tilling Stevens, the bus commonly known as the "White Water Tank", commenced services to meet the huge passenger demand. The stamp depicts a Tilling Stevens, the oldest extant bus in Hong Kong. First registered by China Motor Bus Company Limited in 1949, Tilling Stevens buses were retired in 1967.
$1.80 Daimler A: Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited introduced the first double-decker bus – the Daimler A – to Hong Kong in 1949. With their original metal radiator grilles, the first batch of Daimler A buses were dubbed the "Black Mouth Curs". Daimler A buses were retired in the 1980s.
$2.40 Albion Coach: In 1975, Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited first brought in the single-decker Albion Coaches. These buses were fitted with high-back passenger seats and man-made leather upholstery. Albion Coaches were retired in 1990.
$2.50 Leyland Olympian 11m: Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited introduced the first air-conditioned double-decker Leyland Olympian in 1988. Since then, air-conditioned buses have progressively become main public vehicles. Leyland Olympian 11m buses were retired from the franchised bus service in 2011.
$3 Volvo Olympian 11m: Hong Kong's last batch of non-air-conditioned buses – the Volvo Olympian 11m – were brought in by Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB) in 1995 to serve urban and highway routes. Following the deployment of air-conditioned buses in KMB's entire fleet, non-air-conditioned Volvo Olympian 11m buses were retired in 2012.
$5 Dennis Trident: The first ultra-low-floor double-decker bus – the Dennis Trident – commenced service in Hong Kong in 1997, providing convenience for mobility-impaired passengers and wheelchair users. Dennis Trident buses are still in use today.
$5 Stamp Sheetlet - Euro V Bus: To improve the air quality, the Government implemented Euro V emission standards. The stamp sheetlet features Euro V buses owned by Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited, Citybus Limited and New World First Bus Services Limited. Fitted with engines that meet Euro V emission standards, Euro V buses have been in service since 2009.
Adopting the design of an old style Chinese calendar, this set of six stamps showcases the evolution of Hong Kong buses. The stamp on the $20 Stamp Sheetlet is printed in lithography plus lenticular. Three Euro V buses are set against a backdrop of the magnificent views of Victoria Harbour in daytime, at twilight and at night to signify the round-the-clock bus services in Hong Kong.