Hydrogen bus services resume

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Khim Shin together with Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Transport Sarawak, Buckland Bangik (centre) speaking to one of the passengers on board the hydrogen bus.

KUCHING, Sept 4: Sarawak’s hydrogen bus service has resumed its trial operation in Kuching.

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Khim Shin in a statement said the resumption of the service was conducted in accordance with the government’s standard operation procedure (SOP) including temperature scanning of the passengers before boarding the vehicle.

“The bus is in perfect condition and it is similar to when the vehicle first arrived before the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The trial operation period is important for the bus manufacturer and state government as it was meant to gather data in preparation for the future of public transportation in Sarawak including the proposed adoption of hydrogen-powered feeder buses for the Automated Rapid Transit (ART) system,” Lee said in a statement.

Yesterday, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) Buckland Bangik, senior management staff of Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) together with Lee went on the ‘Downtown Heritage Loop’ route.

“The interior of the bus is regularly sanitised at the end of every trip during the trial operation period currently held on weekdays starting from 8.00am to 6.30pm daily. Presently, passengers can take the ‘Downtown Heritage Loop’ that departs from the bus stop in front of Riverside Majestic Hotel,” he said.

The daily departure times are at 8.00am, 10.00am, 2.00pm and 5.00pm daily.

Members of the public are advised that the trial operation of the hydrogen bus service will not be held during weekends.

Satisfied with the resumption of hydrogen bus service trial operation, Lee hoped that the public will take advantage of the free bus service.

He also commended Sarawak Metro, which is the wholly-owned subsidiary of SEDC for managing the trial operation of the hydrogen bus service.

Meanwhile, a series of discussions were held between Sarawak Metro and the bus manufacturer, Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacture Co., Ltd (Feichi) which is based in China.

“It resulted in the deployment of local technicians to perform the necessary scheduled maintenance works on the buses, in accordance with the required specifications while ensuring the warranty for the vehicles will remain intact.

“During the MCO period and due to travel restrictions, Feichi agreed to assist local technicians through virtual training sessions and also to perform the maintenance through online platforms.

“This is part of the proactive efforts to make sure the buses are back on the road to resume the operation trials, despite the challenges faced due to the extension of the RMCO until December 31, which restricts travel and border crossings,” Lee added.

He assured that the vehicles have also gone through all the necessary inspections and received the mandatory approvals from the relevant government agencies, such as Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) and Road Transport Department (RTD), as well as PUSPAKOM to ensure reliability and road worthiness.—DayakDaily

A passenger having her temperature scanned before boarding the bus.
Transport Minister Datuk Lee Khim Shin (centre) together with representatives from Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd and SEDC Sarawak all set to board the hydrogen bus.