SENIOR PROJECTS HIGHLIGHT
Phoebus and the Number 14
At the beginning of senior year, each student must embark on a senior project - an independent study on anything. Every year, projects range from poetry anthologies and robotics contraptions to music videos and cooking blogs. This year, Phoebus Wong ’21 decided to refurbish a retired Hong Kong Citybus...and bring the bus on campus.
“I started to like buses when I was a kid. I liked hearing the noises of the buses and also observing the different seats and interiors of buses. I'm really interested in architecture and interiors because I think it can really impact the way people feel and the way people interact with each other,” said Phoebus.
Phoebus saw an interview on TVB about 10 years ago where he learned of someone owning 10 old buses in the New Territories. At the time, he was intrigued and thought, “How cool would it be to have a bus of my own?”
Phoebus shared that he took the 14 bus to school every day and had identified a specific bus by serial number. He did his research and set out to buy this bus back in 2019. He knew when the bus was going to retire because old buses in Hong Kong have an age limit of 18 years old.
“When I started to look for details, I found there was no information at all on the Internet, so I got to know some bus enthusiasts and after I gained their trust, they recommended me to some scrap yards to help bid for me and find parking spaces.”
Since acquiring the bus in November 2020, it’s taken Phoebus 3-4 months to refurbish the interior of the bus all the while balancing school work during his senior year. In his final presentation, he said he reached his short term goal of returning the interior to how it looked when it was new. He still has long term goals of doing maintenance on the mechanical side of the bus, but notes he still needs to acquire the skills to do this.
Phoebus Wong '21 stands proudly next to his senior project- a refurbished Citybus he worked on for several months.
Middle & below
Beep beep! It's not every day you see a double-decker bus parked in the High School plaza.
When asked what he learned most from this project, Phoebus reflects that it was “much more of a social process than I expected because you need a lot of help from different people. You need to navigate between people with conflicting interests. For example, I might have to buy parts from two competing scrapyards.” He also shared that he had to persevere through the heat and the sheer dirtiness of the bus when it came back. “I found a lot of dead insects, plastic candy wrappers, money, toothpicks...”
“Who’s older? You or the bus?”
“The bus is half a year older than me.”
“[Refurbishing the bus was] much more of a social process than I expected because you need a lot of help from different people. You need to navigate between people with conflicting interests.”