豐田 Coaster Toyota Coaster
Air conditioning is an essential element for franchised bus route today in contrast to 1980s, a luxurious experience for riding on an air conditioned bus. Though KMB already carried out evaluation on air conditioned bus in early 1980s with a pair of Leyland Victory Mk 2 and Dennis Jubilant on coach service, routes adversely affected by the opening of MTR, the idea was proved to be unsuccessful and the project was turned down. In 1985, with the commission of Dennis Falcon, full-sized single decker coach, the air conditioned service was finally launched but still only limited to airport service.
Route 90 operated between Rennise's Mill and Choi Hung was served and can be only served by Albion CH13AXL single decker, however, it was a high time to find their successor in 1987 without other choices. Backed in 1985, the distributor of Toyota Motor recommended their best seller minibus, Coaster, to KMB and finally, the first 9 coaster purchasing order was made in Feb., 1987 as a replacement of the Albion served route 90. Only 24 seats offered within the Coaster and the most distinctive feature was air conditioned. When they deployed on route 90, a milestone of air conditioned service in KMB was started.
In order to promote air conditioned service, further 8 Coasters were joined about 4 months later and the Albion EVK55CL coach on route 208 was replaced. More and more Toyota Coaster minibuses were acquired when KMB extending their air conditioned bus service networks and eventually total 91 Coasters were introduced. Total seats of some Coaster was reduced from 24 to 21 and with a luggage rack fitted for serving airport service A5 and A7.
With the help of Coaster, KMB successfully launched air conditioned service on conventional bus routes and positive feedback was resulted. On the other hand, the Coaster cannot satisfy the demand and they were replaced by other single and double decker air conditioned bus models. The last Toyota Coaster was left KMB in 1997 and after withdrawal, two samples were as driver trainer, the first air conditioned bus trainer in the fleet. The remaining was sold to mainland while some were donated to charity organization as feeder bus.
The following routes was once served by Toyota Coaster like 38M(238M), 211, 212, 219M, 270, 273, 281, 282, 284, 289, 290, 298 and 299 etc.. Many thanks to my friend Watt Yung for providing the following photos and let me complete this chapter.
請按圖放大圖片 Please click the photo for an enlarge version
回到上一目錄 Back To Last Index
回到主頁 Back To Main