KOTA KINABALU: State Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Ir Shahelmy Yahya witnessed the flagging off of the Kota Kinabalu eBus service (eBusKK) at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here today.
Qhazanah Sabah Berhad (QSB) Chairman Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak was also present.
QSB Executive Director Haji Mohd Shukor Abdul Mumin said the eBusKK service will be operated with a 54-passenger bus that would ply on a public transport route designated as Laluan eBusKK 101 or also known as Laluan Sepanggar 6B from Monday to Thursday.
“This is only a beginning to gauge the eBus reliability in supporting existing public transportation,” he said, adding that the service would also help promote Sabah as a tourism destination in the future.
The eBusKK service is a collaborative effort between QSB, the Sabah Government’s investment arm, and Gemilang Coachwork Sdn Bhd, one of Asia’s leading electric bus and aluminium bus body builders.
He said the eBusKK was QSB’s response after being tasked to help address the city’s traffic congestion by incorporating an environmentally sustainable public transport service.
“Through the eBusKK service, we are supporting the Government’s drive to improve the city’s public transportation system while introducing the use of emission free vehicles.
“This is also an effort to build awareness among the relevant stakeholders on the importance of having an integrated and robust transportation system,” said Mohd Shukor.
He hoped that other interest groups would join in the effort to further improve public transportation with a focus on ‘clean and green’ resources.
Mohd Shukor said l the eBusKK service is among the initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in Kota Kinabalu by 2050.
“To achieve the target of becoming a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, everyone needs to be involved. Our hope is that the electric bus services would eventually be expanded to other districts across Sabah,” he added.
Fully powered by electricity, the eBus is equipped with latest technology including an automated bus stop announcement system, a boarding ramp to provide easy access for the disabled and elderly. It also comes with CCTV cameras for the safety of passengers, global positioning system (GPS) and a driver monitoring system.
Others also present were QSB Director Datuk Dr. Johnson Tee, Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Rizal Dahli, Sabah Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) Director Norsiah Patah and the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) Traffic Department Director Saiman Anggak.
The eBusKK service is being undertaken by QSB as part of a six-month pilot project during which the public can enjoy rides around Kota Kinabalu City beginning with a route between Sepanggar and Menara Kinabalu in the city’s downtown area. Feasibility studies will be conducted during this pilot run to assess the sustainability of an electric bus service in Sabah.
The pilot run will eventually be expanded beyond the Sepanggar-Menara Kinabalu route. The study outcome will pave the way for a detailed and overall planning of future eBus services.
Since last October, QSB had been working to ensure that technical preparations and safety measures were set in place in the lead up to the pilot run. These include mechanical-theory studies, reliability of product, vendor support, infrastructure, and system efficiency to support existing public transportation services.
The eBus study would also complement the State Capital’s future planning.