In recent months Sarawak has introduced few initiatives to improve its state bus service. In addition to electric bus services established in February 2019, Sarawak lead its path of emission free public transport by launching three China-made hydrogen buses for service starting 22 January (Wednesday) this year. Serving the route that starts and ends at Kuching Waterfront at Jalan Main Bazaar, the bus service is currently free for public to hop on daily from 6am to 6pm.
The hydrogen buses are manufactured by Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacture Co Ltd, one of the leading hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturers in China. Accommodating 30 passengers at one time, each bus can travel up to 300 kilometres per full tank of 20kg hydrogen.
As transportation fuel, hydrogen shows its advantages in term of carbon emission compared to electric. The batteries of electric buses will be disposed after used for three to five years while hydrogen has zero carbon emission with water and heat being its only by products.
The buses also adapt internet of things (IoT) technology by providing high speed LITE WiFi internet connection and H2Sarawak app that shows the information of fully integrated online route and live schedule of Sarawak’s public transportation system, which will help saving commuters’ time.
According to Datuk Lee Kim Shin, state Transport Minister of Sarawak, the next step to improve state bus service includes providing fuel subsidy to bus operators to alleviate the operation cost. Lee also urged bus operators to look into existing issues within regional bus services by regulating numbers of old buses on the road, providing proper bus schedule and improving the practicality in the bus shed design.