The Dapeng Long-distance Bus Terminal in Dapeng Subdistrict, one of the most remote subdistricts from the city center, has ended its service Sept. 30 after 23 years’ operation.
The terminal was the only long-distance bus terminal in Dapeng New Area and was once important to local residents traveling to Guangzhou, Jieyang, Maoming, Heyuan and Meizhou in Guangdong Province, as well as Dongkou in Hunan Province. The bus terminal recently faced challenges brought about by more private cars, high-speed trains and flights.
During the National Day holiday, a resident surnamed Wang rushed to the bus terminal as he usually did, hoping to get a ticket to Jieyang, his hometown. Upon arrival, he found that the terminal had been closed and he had to take a cab to take the high-speed train at Pingshan Railway Station instead.
“I live close to the terminal. Even though the bus service isn’t as fast as trains, it’s convenient and you can leave any time you want,” Wang said.
“In the early years, there weren’t many buses and passengers had to wait for a long time. There weren’t many tourists in Dapeng either. The terminal’s main function was to serve local people to travel to downtown Shenzhen and neighboring cities,” said Lin, head of the bus terminal.
Due to Dapeng’s booming tourism, the bus terminal once was a busy place where dozens of hotels and businesses were set up nearby.
“You could buy products from Guangzhou and even from Hong Kong at the shops,” said Lin.
However, in recent years, the terminal’s business plummeted with fewer passengers, which resulted in the operator’s heavy losses.
“We had no choice but to close the terminal. People now come to Dapeng by private cars. Many locals prefer to take high-speed trains in Pingshan. Online platforms make hailing a taxi easier. Nobody likes to take buses with fixed schedules,” Lin added.
Although the bus services have been canceled, the terminal’s location will be kept for future use, according to Dapeng’s transport administration.
“Though the terminal is not as bustling as it used to be, it has witnessed our lives getting better and better,” Lin said.
Statistics from the Ministry of Transport showed that China’s bus terminals’ turnover decreased by 13 billion passenger trips in 2019, down 4.8 percent over the previous year. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, long-distance bus service turnover was 6.89 billion, down 47 percent year on year.