23

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao (HKZM) Bridge is scheduled to opened on July 1st October 23rd, 2018. There will apparently be buses every 5-15 minutes between the three cities, but I'm having trouble finding any concrete details about the service.

How can I, as a tourist, use the bridge to travel from Hong Kong to Macao or vice versa? I'm interested in the bus terminals on both side, schedules, ticket availability (book in advance or on the spot?) and pricing.

13
+200

There are two types of scheduled bus service operating on the HKZM Bridge.

Shuttle Buses

"Shuttle Buses" are operated by Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Shuttle Bus Co Ltd. They run like city buses: on a fixed frequent schedule with no reservations taken.

You can take these "shuttles" between the border checkpoints (aka "ports"). They depart every 10-30 minutes, 24/7. HK$65 (HK$70 at night). Tickets are sold at the terminals (including via Octopus Card) and online. (source, source)

In Hong Kong the terminal is the purpose-built HK Boundary Crossing Facilities on Lantau Island, Chek Lap Kok - an extension of HK Airport's artificial island. Reach this stop from the airport or elsewhere in HK on one of the buses that now connect this "port" to the airport: A11, A21, A22, A29, A31, A33X, A35, A36, A41, B4, B5 and B6. (It doesn't seem you can walk from the Airport MTR station.)

In Macau and Zhuhai, the bridge "shuttles" stop at new purpose built island that houses both the Mainland (Zhuhai) and Macau border points.

From that island catch a local "shuttle" to the Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal or Taipa Ferry Terminal, from where you can transfer to other buses and shuttles to get further into town.

It's not clear to me how you can get between the border and Zhuhai, I expect there are shuttles as well.

Intercity Coaches

Intercity Coaches run between points within the cities of Hong Kong and Macau as well as from Hong Kong to points in Mainland China.

Several companies operate Macau - Hong Kong. The Macau government has capped the number of these services as mentioned in user67108's previous answer. Coaches travel from places like points in APM Kwun Tong in Kowloon directly to Macau casinos including The Sands Macao.

  • OneBus' website has some stop and schedule information. It seems that you need to contact a local branch office to reserve tickets for now.
  • Hong Kong-Macau Express service is summarized in this article.

Some bus services going deeper into Mainland China from Hong Kong also plan to use the bridge. (source)

  • 2
    Can you clarify what/where the "ports" are and how to get to them? – jpatokal Oct 23 '18 at 0:50
  • @jpatokal updated to better explain what I do know. – Carl Oct 23 '18 at 2:09
10

There are some elements of answer already available, but nothing regarding the sliding-scale calendar.

Macau has imposed a daily 50-return-trip limit for coaches, one round-trip per coach. Sixteen licences have been issued to Macau bus companies, and 34 to two HK consortiums. So there will be 50 buses going daily to Macau and back. About two an hour, average, although I guess the schedule will not be a flat 30-minute departure schedule all day. The buses are supposed to leave from Kwun Tong, eastern HK, stop a couple of times on the way, and then cross to Macau, stopping at casinos. Considering HK's traffic, these buses are going to take forever, at least during the day.

Then, people will have to get off the bus at the immigration facilities near the airport, pass through immigration, and board the bus again. There is such a scheme in place at the HK<>Shenzhen border crossings, and it isn't pretty. Add about 30 to 60 minutes to that schedule. It will take just ONE tourist on board to delay things.

According to Macau's government stats, in the first quarter of 2018, 2.6 million peole arrived in Macau by sea. Including a little under a million PRC people (which gives us a good idea of the HK<>Macau sea traffic, since arrivals by sea are either from China or HK). Assuming 1.66 million people coming from HK, over 90 days, that's about 18,000 people PER DAY. A bus can carry about 60 people. Fifty of them will carry at best 3,000. Assuming full capacity on every single bus. That's about 15% of the traffic, optimistically. As a comparison point, during the same period, there were a total of 8.5 million arrivals, all included, 6 million of which Mainland Chinese. The border crossing in Zhuhai is busy indeed.

The two operators for HK are OneBus and Kwoon Chung. Kwoon Chung's existing website sucks balls bilingually (they're a very, ahhhh, traditional company) and I don't expect them to provide much in terms of information, when they start. I'll keep digging in the coming weeks, until they and OneBus publish something.

I'm interested in trying it once. But I'll probably buy not even a round-trip, just a one-way ticket.

  • 1
    What was even the point of building a bridge if you're going to restrict it to merely 15% of the passenger traffic?.. – JonathanReez Aug 2 '18 at 7:31
  • 3
    There are two different factors that contribute to the limitations: (1) Macau doesn't want, understandably, to be overwhelmed by a sea of HK buses, or, worse, Chinese buses. Traffic is bad enough as it is. (2) Only vehicles with double plates, HK+粵Z/MO+粵Z or Guangdong+HK plates can drive on the bridge. Which seriously limits the usefulness of this bridge anyway, as there's only 10,000 vehicles equipped with double plates allowed on the bridge... – TheGrouch HK Aug 2 '18 at 7:36
  • 3
    @JonathanReez There is plenty of criticism about this bridge... Many suspect it is part of the slow but ineluctable "mainlandisation" of Macao & HK. – user67108 Aug 2 '18 at 9:33
  • 4
    @dda I really don't understand why they didn't build a train bridge instead! – jpatokal Aug 2 '18 at 10:03
  • 1
    Generals and apparatchiks don't take the train 😀 – user67108 Aug 2 '18 at 10:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.