Hino Poncho minibus to trial run in Penang and new routes in Kuala Lumpur

By CARSIFU | 21 October 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Hino) and Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd (Rapid Bus) will continue its trial in more challenging routes in Kuala Lumpur, after successfully completing its first trial run for two months in 2019.

The 7-metre low-floor Hino Poncho minibus offers a solution for transport accessibility in tight and narrow roads.

The second trial in Kuala Lumpur, commencing from early October 2021 to end of April 2022, will cater to route T180: Taman Dato Senu to Chow Kit, and route 302:
Titiwangsa to KLCC.

Making its trial debut in the Penang Island, Poncho will cater to route 11: Pengkalan Weld to Batu Lanchang, and route 201: Pengkalan Weld to Tingkat Paya, Terubong.

Hino Malaysia said more than 2,000 units of the Poncho busses are operating in Japan's busy city roads and quieter residential areas.

This bus was designed to match the most innovative community transport solution and be the solution to cater the ‘first and last-mile’ travel as its short 7-metre length makes it easy to navigate through narrow city roads.

Its low floor design also made it easier for senior citizen, children, and wheelchair bound passengers to board.


“Based on our first trial in Klang Valley from October 2019 to March lastyear, Hino Poncho was able to serve our passengers better and the small size of the bus enabled it to easily manoeuvre smaller residential areas and improvise resource utilisation through the improvement of the load factor,” said Rapid Bus chief executive officer Muhammad Yazurin Sallij.

He also said the normal 10-metre to 12-metre buses usually faced problems such as haphazard parking by private vehicle owners at the side of the roads that caused longer bus trips and delays to passengers’ journey.

Hino Malaysia managing director Atsushi Uchiyama said the company believed the second trial run with Rapid Bus would meet their expectation, especially on the effectiveness of connectivity, access and cost-efficient factors.

"We are excited to see Hino Poncho trial expanding to other states especially in Penang island,” he said.