The federal government has allocated RM150 million over three years to the Johor state government for the implementation of myBAS stage bus services, via the Stage Bus Service Transformation (SBST) programme in an effort to improve the quality of bus services in the state.
Transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the programme, which will begin in March this year, is expected to benefit 6.4 million people a year, adding that it has been implemented in Kangar, Ipoh, Seremban and Kuala Terengganu so far. In a first for myBAS, some of Johor’s buses will be electric powered.
“One of the unique things is that for the first time, we’re introducing EVs for Johor Bahru. We have eight EV buses specially for city areas. We’re creating history by introducing SBST, and in the context of JB, we’re introducing a type of bus that’s used the world over, it’s a global trend,” Wee said at the launch ceremony of the JB SBST programme, reported by Harian Metro.
He added that the roll out of 128 units of the myBAS in Johor will involve 19 routes in five corridors, which are Kota Tinggi, Masai, Kulai, Gelang Patah and Pontian. The route network is 1,052 km long.
Meanwhile, Johor chief minister Datuk Hasni Mohammad said that although the state has big scale rail transport projects like the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking and electrification project and the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link connecting JB and Singapore, the stage bus system still needs to be improved upon.
“JB, Iskandar Puteri and Pasir Gudang will be connected by a transport system that is good and the latest, with service punctuality and wide coverage. The SBST buses also include mini buses, normal buses and electric buses – this is fitting with the city of Johor Bahru,” the MB said.
There are no details on the EV bus, but it’s likely that the model is the same one used by the GoKL City Bus free bus service in the capital. That one is Malaysian-made by local company SKS Coachbuilders. Aside from the driveline and electrical components, which are imported from China, the bus is fully fabricated in Puchong, Selangor.
The SKS bus has a capacity of 31 passengers (21 seated, 10 standing) and a maximum speed of 70 km/h, although optimum speed is 55-60 km/h.
As for the electric bits, the bus has 299 kWh of energy storage from eight lithium-ion traction battery packs housed at the rear end. This provides up to 250 km of travel on a single charge. Quoted charge times to full range are roughly from around 1.5 hours with the battery at 40% state of charge to nearly three hours at a lower SOC.
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