丹尼士長矛 Dennis Lance
編號 Class：AN，901-910(龍運巴士，Long Win Bus)
It is a complicated issue for the using of full-size single decker in Hong Kong. Bus operators tend to deploy single decker buses on low demand routes to maintain a low operating cost and maximize the use of limited resources. In addition, full-size single decker suitable for some short-distanced but frequent loading with a large passengers flows as they are not willing to the upper-deck. The frequency and the journey can be benefited. However, as restriction on the number of fleet imposed by the Transport Department, together with the objection from local authority and passengers, the development of the use of full-size single decker was limited.
After the commissioned of the Dennis Falcon in 1985, Dennis supplied KMB with 24 Dennis Lance in 1992 and to be the second full-size single decker in Hong Kong. Dennis Lance offered commuters a relatively low one-step entrance compared with Falcon. In fact, the first full-size super low floor bus model offered by Dennis was developed from Lance and then further into the first 3-axles super low floor double decker Trident. KMB planned to provide a frequent and rapid service alongside Nathan Road with full-size single decker. This plan soon were turned down by different District Council as they required KMB allocated double decker on those trunk routes. To go one step further, the full-size single decker cannot suit the heavy demand of the route serving the Nathan Road Corridor.
All Dennis Lances are bodied by Walter Alexander and the air-conditioning unit as same as the Darts supplied by Sutrak from Germany. Except the demonstrator (AN11) received it PS-type bodywork at Falkirk in Scotland, all Dennis Lance completed their bodyworks locally. The first 12 (AN1-10, 12 and 13) are fitted with dual-door bodyworks with 45 seatings plus 33 standees. The wide entrance is first chosen on Dennis Lance to facilitate the flow of passengers. Airport coach configuration was chosen on the remaining Lances with single doorway for expand and upgrade the fleet of Kai Tak Airport routes. All Lances registered between May and Jul., 1993. Bus version Lance were deployed on 30X and 238X replacing Hino coaches hired from Argos Bus. Coach version Lances were then put on Kai Tak Airport route taking the place of Falcon until the closure of Kai Tak Airport. Afterwards, air-con bus services widely accepted by the public and KMB introduced double decker air-con buses to meet the demand. The development of full-size single decker was suspended until 2009 when KMB introduced full-size single decker again.
As passengers growth, KMB started to withdraw Dennis Lance from 30X and 238X. Two of them were then deployed on cross-harbour route 110 while some found their new home in 203E and 224M. Since 1996, Dennis Lance started to work on Northern New Territories routes like 78K, 273, 273A and 278K. While those withdrawn from Airbus service, 10 of them (AN14, 15 and 17-24) were transferred to Long Wing Bus (901-910, previously LWB136-145), the subsidiary company of KMB Group, for the use of airport shuttle routes. The original luggage rack for the airport route was removed and a "no luggage" notice was stuck instead of any seats fitted onto the original position. In 2003, 908 was transferred back to KMB and fleet no. AN23 was used again.
In 2007, LWB started to dispose the aging Dennis Lance and until Nov., 2009, only 907 and 910 left in the fleet for route R8, staff bus and reserve purpose. Since May, 2010, the KMB Lance started to withdraw from the fleet and before their withdrawal, they were mainly deployed on feeder service linked with railway station in Northern New Territories. To commemorate Dennis Lance serving Kai Tak and Chek Lap Kok Airport (The Hong Kong International Airport), KMB held a press conference and told the public all Dennis Lance would be retired in Oct., 2010.
The Last LWB Dennis Lance delicensed on 29, Aug., 2010 while the last sample for KMB, decommision in Oct. 2010. The role that Dennis Lance played then replaced by the newer full-sized super low floor single decker.
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