Dr Jerip: eBus set to make Sarawak more environment-friendly

Dr Jerip gives the thumbs-up after putting the road safety campaign sticker on the bus windscreen. At right is Road Safety Department (JKJR) state director Davina Agnes Entali.

KUCHING: The introduction of electric bus, or eBus, to the state capital Kuching in 2019 will make Sarawak more comprehensive in its approach towards clean environment.

Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said the Sarawak cabinet had agreed to this new technology to replace the conventional diesel buses which were initially offered under the Stage Bus Services Transformation (SBST).

“Electric buses are much more environment-friendly than diesel buses. The introduction of the eBus will be under supervision of Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation together with the relevant agencies.

“We hope that these e-buses will be able to roll off in the year 2019. We are doing all the infrastructure to be available for these e-buses,” he told a press conference after launching the state-level road safety campaign held in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration at Kuching Sentral yesterday.

He also said all the routes for the SBST, which focused on Kuching, had been assigned but he could not provide the details at the moment.

“We cannot give you any details on which routes to go, but this will be addressing all the major routes where there are lots of traffic jams. The purpose is to reduce traffic congestion,” he said.

He added these buses would be operated by the Konsortium Bas Bandaraya Kuching (KBBK) Sdn Bhd, which signed up as the network operator for the SBST when the agreement was sealed with the federal government on Nov 22 last year.

On Sunday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri issued a statement to inform that a total of 90 myBas electric buses would be allocated to Kuching under the SBST. She had also stated that the memorandum of understanding signed by SBST last November would need to be amended soon to include bigger funding from the federal government.

She explained that the bigger government funding was needed in order to build vital support facilities for the electric-powered buses such as charging stations so that these buses could be fully utilised to connect urban areas to rural areas, and vice versa, in Kuching.

If the plan went on smoothly, the operation of these buses could begin in January next year and Sarawak would be the first state to fully use myBas electric buses, she added.

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