From left: Rapid Bus CEO Muhammad Yazurin Sallij, Prasarana group chief operating officer COO Muhammad Nizam Alias, Bandar Utama Assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Loke, Hino Malaysia managing director Atsushi Uchiyama, Hino Malaysia executive director Datuk Johnny Chan and Rapid KL chief operating officer Ku Jamil Zakaria.
PETALING JAYA: Hino Motors Sales Sdn Bhd introduced its 7.0m Poncho low-floor minibus in Malaysia and has been deployed by Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd under a three-month trial.
The new buses are running on routes T784 LRT Taman Bahagia and T201 LRT Gombak from now until Jan 20, 2020.
Malaysia is the first country in South-East Asia to use the Poncho within a public transportation fleet and looks to complement existing modes of public transportation within urban and suburban areas.
The trial-run of the Poncho is an initiative for the development of an efficient intra-city bus service, which will shuttle passengers from transport hubs to their final destinations within the central business district and residential areas.
Although compact, the Poncho is able to fit up to 31 passengers, making it an ideal transportation mode that can navigate through narrow and busy city roads and be far less cumbersome than the 10 to 12m-long buses currently in operation.
Also, the Poncho features an ultra-low floor with "Kneeling" function to further lower itself by 50mm (or raised by 30mm) and is especially helpful for senior citizens and wheelchair-bound passengers.
On its second day of deployment, Minister of Transport Anthony Loke enjoyed a 15-minute ride which started from LRT Taman Bahagia and ended at a bus stop station in Damansara Uptown.