TRANSPORTATION

Trial run of five Hong Kong electric buses delayed indefinitely due to bus stop bell problems

Minor glitch causes them to sound every time they’re pressed instead of just once until vehicle doors open

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 10:28pm

The trial run of five single-decker electric buses purchased by New World First Bus and Citybus and scheduled to hit Hong Kong roads on Monday was put on hold due to minor bus stop bell problems.

The latest electric buses, manufactured in Shandong province by Great Dragon International Corporation, were scheduled for a two-year trial run on five Hong Kong Island routes: 11, 12, 25A, 78 and 81.

However, in a press statement issued on Monday, the bus companies announced the trial run had been postponed until further notice as they had found the bus stop bells sounded each time the buttons were pressed.

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A bell is supposed to sound only once – namely, upon the first passenger pressing a bus stop button – until the exit door is opened, the statement said.

“Although this does not affect driving safety, the companies shall wait until rectification by the bus manufacturer before service commencement,” it said.

The five new vehicles by Great Dragon are the second batch purchased by New World First Bus and Citybus. The first batch of five electric buses was produced by Shenzhen-based manufacturer BYD last year.

The 10 buses are fully funded by the government under a HK$50 million subsidy covering their charging facilities costs.

The first batch stopped running and was sent for maintenance after 13 days of trials last December due to door issues.

The 10 buses use battery-driven motors to achieve “zero emission”. The five new vehicles can travel about 250km in one go upon a full five-hour charge.