Ultra-low floor minibus, Hino Poncho begins trial

Johor Bahru, 15 June 2020 – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Hino Malaysia) and Handal Indah Sdn Bhd (Handal Indah) also known as Causeway Link, to start a trial run of this 7-meter mini bus within Johor Bahru area under their operation. It will ply Route 10B covering JB City, Pelangi, Sentosa, Pandan, Taman Daya, and Taman Setia Indah starting today to 12 July 2020.

“We have been working together on our past collaboration to run the first hybrid bus in Malaysia supporting economical and clean public transport system. It was an obvious choice to work with Handal Indah again for this Poncho trial in Johor”, said Atsushi Uchiyama, managing director, Hino Malaysia.

“Handal Indah is experienced and provides great insight on the public transportation needs valuable in this trial”, he added.

This trial is scheduled now as the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is currently planning for the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project. This project aims to transform the public transportation system. Its services comprise three main lines running from Skudai, Tebrau and Iskandar Puteri to Johor Bahru city centre. It is further supported by direct and feeder routes, with a network of more than 1200km, covering 90% of the populated areas of Iskandar Malaysia. IMBRT consolidates some existing routes as well as opening new routes to serve the people of Johor better in terms of its public transportation needs. With emphasis on better access to an extensive network, first and last mile connectivity, and sustainable green technology.

Poncho is a solution for expansion of new routes which were not accessible earlier due to unavailability of low floor mini buses. Its small size enables easy manoeuvring through narrow city roads and quieter residential areas while its low floor design make it easier to board for senior citizens, children and wheelchair bound passengers. It also features an ultra-low floor with the kneeling function that can be further lowered down.

The capacity is 31 passengers including those standing and the vehicle height adjusting system has the height lowering and raising control. The height can be lowered down by 50mm to enhance the boarding or alighting at bus stops and with the raising control, the chassis is able to lifted up to 30mm higher to improve driveability on rough road.
It is powered by the five (5) liter Euro-V engine, common-rail fuel injection system and 5-speed fully automatic transmission, to help improve the operational cost as it is more fuel-efficient than current buses.

This Euro-V technologically-advanced diesel engine provides improved engine performance for acceleration, better fuel economy, and lower harmful emissions and is environmentally friendly. It has a Diesel Particulate Reduction (DPR) system, an after-treatment system that significantly reduces particulate matter. This feature differs to other current Euro-V vehicles it does not require any additional fluid such as AdBlue urea fluid, which eventually will save the operating cost and maintenance time.

The trial run combines the objectives of providing efficient public transport system that serves the people as this innovation will enhance the public transport services aimed at eliminating the first and last mile barrier.

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