KMB has sought to downplay the closing down of its safety and service quality department three years ago, but admitted that the ten-member unit had failed to deliver.
Appearing for the first time before a panel looking into bus operations in the city, KMB executives said the department was replaced because it didn't know much about bus hardware, and it didn't communicate well with drivers.
Operations director Leung Kin-wang said drivers were not happy about some of the proposals the department made about negotiating sharp bends.
Leung said the safety and quality job was given to two higher-grade deputy operations directors. And last year, KMB formed a new department to monitor safety, training and the discipline of its drivers.
The firm's chairman Norman Leung said the company's board had approved a remuneration restructuring in December. The new package incorporates the safety-related bonuses of drivers into their basic salaries.
Norman Leung said even without safety-related bonuses, drivers should still be responsible and professional in safeguarding the safety of passengers.
KMB managing director Roger Lee said if such bonuses are used as incentives, it may put unnecessary pressure on drivers.
The committee, set up by the government following a bus crash in Tai Po in February which killed 19 people, is looking into whether there is a systemic problem with Hong Kong's bus operations.