By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 20: As Kuching city experiments with the battery-powered electric bus, findings from its recent past three-month trial run indicates that the technology is not only reliable and stable but environmentally-friendly, too.
Henry Lai, the managing director of HENZ Pacific Sdn Bhd, which is managing the service, told DayakDaily today that the overall performance of the electric bus has been good so far.
“The bus service is consistent and reliable. The bus has not encountered any problem so far as maintenance has been done according to schedule.
“In this pilot project, the data gathered and results show that this technology is quite matured and stable. It is reliable in operation on the roads of our city,” he said.
Furthermore, Lai said his office had not received any complaint from commuters, thus far.
“The response from commuters has been positive and very good, which is why the state government decided to extend the free service until December,” he shared.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had on May 30 announced that the free electric bus operations and services would continue until the the end of this year.
Lai emphasised that it was their responsibility to ensure that the bus service continued to run smoothly for the benefit of commuters.
“Notices will be put up on the Kuching Metro mobile app if there is scheduled maintenance that will affect the service,” he said.
On the possibility of increasing the bus fleet to enhance the public transportation system in the city with such positive findings, he emphasised: “We hope so as overall, the electric bus is considered a stable, reliable and feasible technology.”
Abdul Karim had also expressed optimism to see an increase in the bus fleet as well as the expansion of routes for the buses.
Kuching’s first electric bus service kicked off on March 1 this year. The service, which runs from 7am to 6pm daily, completes each loop within an hour, making 20 stops along the way.
The route also covers the Kuching heritage trail, in which commuters can stop for attractions like the Sarawak Museum, General Post Office, Main Bazaar, Kuching Waterfront and Darul Hana Bridge.
Commuters can use the Kuching Metro mobile app to check daily information on the bus operation and services, timetable and map of routes.
The state-of-the-art vehicle is also disabled-friendly as well as equipped with free WiFi, five CCTVs and a broadcast system. — DayakDaily