Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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Rapid Bus is currently deploying the Hino Poncho minibus on a trial run for 3 months.
As an initiative for the development of an efficient intra-city bus service, a low-floor minibus with 7-metre length was introduced by Hino Motors Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd. Rapid Bus is currently deploying the Hino Poncho minibus on a trial run for 3 months.
From 20th October, 2019 to 20th January, 2020, the trial run covers the route between T784 LRT Taman Bahagia and T201 LRT Gombak.
The Hino Poncho is the first low-floor minibus with 7-metre length in the world. In Japan, there are more than 2,000 Hino Poncho minibuses manoeuvring within the busy cities and narrow roads. It is designed to match the most innovative community transport solution and is deemed as one of the solutions to cater to the first and last-mile travel for passengers.
Malaysia was chosen as the first country in Southeast Asia to have the Hino Poncho in its public transportation fleet to complement the existing system in the city and suburban areas. On 21st October, the second day of the trial run, Malaysia Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook took the minibus ride for about 15 minutes by hopping on from the LRT Taman Bahagia to the bus stop station Damansara Uptown.
Compared to the current buses now in operation that are about 10-12 metres in length, the Hino Poncho at only 7 metres in length is easier to manoeuvre through busy city and narrow roads. Featuring an ultra-low floor with a kneeling function that could be lowered further, the new minibus is senior citizen and wheelchair friendly. It could cater up to 31 passengers including those standing.
Equipped with a height adjusting system, the vehicle’s height could be lowered by 50mm for easy boarding and alighting. In addition, the system’s raise control enables the chassis to be lifted up to 30mm higher for better driveability on rough roads.
Hino Poncho is powered by a 5.0-litre Euro 5 diesel engine with a common-rail fuel injection system and mated to a 5-speed fully automatic transmission. Its engine comes with a Diesel Particulate Reduction (DPR) system, an after-treatment system that could significantly reduce particulate matter. This differentiates Hino Poncho from other current Euro 5 vehicles that require additional fluids such as AdBlue urea fluid, thus reducing the operating cost and maintenance time.
日野汽车销售（马来西亚）私人有限公司近日将7米长的低地板迷你巴士，介绍给Rapid Bus私人有限公司，作为发展高效城际巴士服务的倡议。Rapid Bus目前正在试跑日野Poncho迷你巴士，为期3个月。
从2019年10月20日至2020年1月间试跑期间，该迷你巴士将覆盖T784 LRT幸福园（Taman Bahagia）和T201 LRT鹅唛的路线。
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