According to the Government Transformation Project report the peak morning ridership has already hit close to half a million, commuters using the public transport still stood at only 15% with the target set of 25% by end of 2015. In a news report recently Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin stated that Greater Klang Valley is in need of an efficient public transport system to reduce the number of cars commuting in and out of the city. Roads are already near capacity level and may reach crisis level if nothing is done to accommodate the growing population which is expected to hit 4 million by 2020.
Among measures in line is the Mass Rail Transit and to create the first bus rapid transit (BRT) route linking Kuala Lumpur to Klang, the BRT will be able to ferry up to 400,000 passengers daily once completed in 2016. Dispersing the throngs of passengers from LRT and the soon to be completed MRT also requires an efficient integrated system that will allow coordinated efforts between all operators to smoothly operate with each other without causing inconvenience to the public.
Keenly observing the increased usage of public transport over the years and the potential growth factors the MRT and LRT extension could impact on commuter usage, feeling the time is right Volvo Buses Malaysia one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world renowned for their safety has established a complete knock down (CKD) plant in Batu Caves to manufacture new Volvo bus chassis.
During a ceremony here in Shah Alam, in the presence of the Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia Volvo Buses Malaysia unveiled its new Volvo B11R chassis to customers, partners and members of the media with the assurance that the new chassis range are poised to offer the best solutions for next-generation public transport and travel in Malaysia.
“The launch of the Volvo Buses Chassis Range today spells an additional significant advancement in the operations of Volvo Malaysia. It also underscores our commitment and deep interest to play an even more active participation in the country’s transportation industry,” said Mr Mats Nilsson, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia. Both the Volvo B7R and Volvo B11R are chassis models that were designed with versatility in mind and made for efficient, safe, and profitable transport, both of which have enjoyed increased demand in other markets.
David Mead, Vice President, APAC, Volvo Buses Corporation said, “This chassis range we are launching today provides first-class driveability, outstanding fuel-efficiency and low on environmental impact. The versatility of this chassis range allows our customers to customize according to their needs, as they are easily tailored to suit school bus, long distance charter and touring coaches. “Our customers choose Volvo for a reason – Volvo Buses is much more than a premium bus or coach. Volvo customers can look forward to a complete solution, tailored to their reality. This solution includes the right bus or coach, the right combination of leading support services, and our commitment and expertise throughout the lifetime of the bus and beyond.
“Volvo Buses also has a City Mobility programme that addresses issues faced by the public transport industry and we have worked directly with many major cities in solving their public transport challenges by offering complete solutions,” said Mead.
Safety and Efficiency
Volvo vehicles are recognized for its renowned safety, high level uptime and efficiency in fuel consumption – which are important features for a quality public transport system. An unmatchable safety feature in the Volvo B7R and the Volvo B11R is its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and its Electronically-controlled Braking System (EBS).
As a standard feature in all Volvo buses, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) reduces the risk of the driver losing control over his vehicle in critical situations; for example in sharp curves or on slippery surfaces. The Electronically controlled Braking System (EBS) on the other hand, has anti-locking disc-brake system offering high braking effect and instant alertness thanks to electronic signal transmission.
All Volvo Buses models are also equipped with integrated retarder with additional Volvo Engine Brake, 4 disc brakes with higher and constant braking, and separate front and rear brake air circuits for maximum safety.
“Customers moving towards new technology naturally also want security; and we are proud to say that Volvo Group has undeniably one of the toughest safety standards in the world. Safety is not only encompassed in our products; it is also incorporated in our entire production, supply, aftersales and value chain. We therefore offer various business packages whereby we undertake all maintenance processes for the entire bus,” said Mr Muralli Muthusubramaniam, Country Manager, Volvo Buses Malaysia.
“We have a network coverage of 11 dealerships across Malaysia, with an aftermarket service quality that is on par with our global service standards. We also provide 24/7 road assistance where technical support will be dispatched to our customers in case of a breakdown.
“Volvo also very much focuses on training for bus technicians for specific technical support to offer customers a complete ownership experience when purchasing Volvo Buses. Volvo’s aftersales service helps our customers’ bottom line over the entire lifetime of the vehicle” added Muthusubramaniam.
The Volvo B7R runs smoothly in service, maintenance and on the road. The flat top of the framework permits efficient body construction and guarantees a long, productive life. Rigid front suspension in combination with a compact and service-friendly driveline installation create a spacious and efficient vehicle.
The Volvo B7R is primarily intended for long-distance and tourist duties, but is also suitable for use as a city bus. The low-entry version, Volvo B7RLE, allows for high passenger capacity and quick entry and exit. Its kneeling function and wide centre aisle make for efficient passenger flow, and the chassis layout permits wide doors.
Expect to see the Volvo buses plying our roads soon with Prasarana already placing orders for delivery.