8 juli 2011
To upgrade the quality of its bus fleet, KMB is introducing 60 new single-deck buses this year. The new buses will be deployed to operate on routes with lower passenger demand and to replace retired single-deck buses to achieve better deployment of bus resources.
The KMB buses are equiped with the Ventura Systems Inward Swinging door in the front and the Plug Sliding door in the back of the bus.
KMB has been implementing service rationalisation programmes to enable redeployment of resources from low utilisation routes to areas of increasing demand. This helps ease the traffic flow on busy roads and contributes to less fuel consumption and fewer emissions. In response to changes in passenger demand, KMB has been introducing more single-deck buses to its fleet to achieve a better combination of bus types of various capacity in line with its aim of improving its efficiency in the provision of quality bus services.
This year, all the new generation models of KMB single-deck buses are equipped with the Euro V engine. Compared with the engines in older single-deck buses, the emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides of the Euro V engine are reduced by 94% and 79% respectively. In addition, the fuel consumption of single-deck buses is 40% less than that of comparable double-deck buses.
Mr. Ho Chi-man, KMB's Head of Depots, said, "The length of the 60 new single-deck buses ranges from 10.4 metres to 12 metres, while their passenger capacity ranges from 62 to 75 people. The introduction of buses offering different capacities helps KMB meet the changes in travel demand of passengers on different routes, with concomitant gains in terms of a more flexible deployment of bus resources, more efficient bus operations and a cleaner environment."
A part of the new single-deck buses will be used to replace retired single-deck buses. Some of the buses introduced this year have been operating on Routes 53 and 276, which are mainly bus routes in the New Territories.
In addition, KMB will arrange for new single-deck buses to operate on routes which do not have sufficient passenger demand to justify the use of double-deck buses. Since 2009, KMB has been conducting trials of single-deck buses on Routes 5D, 7M, 24, 73K and 81M. After the trials, the maximum occupancy rate of passengers during the peak hour increased from 28-49% to 35-72%, indicating that the introduction of single-deck buses to those routes resulted in better utlisation of bus resources. As part of its route development programme this year, KMB has submitted proposals on the deployment of single-deck buses to relevant District Councils for consultation, and the implementation of the proposals will be subject to the approval of the Transport Department.
Mr. Ho added, "Single-deck buses account for 3.9% of the KMB fleet. Although we expect that double-deck buses will continue to constitute the majority of our bus fleet in future, KMB will purchase more single-deck buses to reflect the market situation, resulting in a more diversified bus fleet for flexible deployment. We will also continue to review the purchase and deployment of buses to tie in with our route development plans."
The major difference between new and old single-deck buses is the addition of barrier-free facilities, including a wheelchair ramp at the entrance and the function which enables the entrance floor height to be lowered by 250 mm, enabling passengers, the elderly and wheelchair users in particular, to access the bus more easily. The super-low floor of new single-deck buses offers a wheelchair position, a wide gangway and a flat floor, making it step-free from entrance to exit. Compared with older single-deck buses without super-low floor or rear exit, the new single-deck buses hold a significant advantage in terms of reducing boarding and alighting time.
In addition, the height of the saloon of new single-deck buses is 2.39 metres, which is 30% higher than that of older single-deck buses. The improvements in saloon design result from the application of more advanced technology to reduce the size of bus components such as the engine, alternator and fuel tank, and to equip them at the rear of the bus. This makes it possible to design a bus body with a larger area of low flooring. The theatre-style seating design and the enlarged bus windows provide passengers with a more panoramic street-view on their journeys. The seats are set at an optimal recline angle and feature a body contour seat-back to suit the comfort requirements of most passengers while providing maximal support.