丹尼士飛鏢 Dennis Dart

編號 Class:11-20

相信用當今最成功的中型單層巴士形容飛鏢,絕對無人會提出反對,單看香港多家營運商,甚至澳門先後購入一定數量,不同車身及配置的飛鏢,己足以證明此言非虛。丹尼士飛鏢不單在香港巿區路線勝任愉快,就連往返落馬洲邊境口岸的過境穿梭巴士,亦能表現稱職。

丹尼士飛鏢是落馬洲過境穿梭巴士的開國功臣,在巴士服務投入服務之初,整個車隊便由十架飛鏢組成。雖然丹尼士飛鏢早於九十年代初登陸香港,但當時仍稱作藝東有限公司的營運商,擁有的飛鏢巴士卻帶來了新意。十架飛鏢都是於一九九五年從英國運抵香港,裝配了首次在港出現的Northern Counties提供的County Bus Paladin車身,特色是裝配了圓形車窗,抵港時是帶有九巴標準空調巴士色彩,事實上配上Northern Counties車身的飛鏢共有十一架,當中有六架亦加入了九巴車隊,車隊編號AA43-48,分別由荔枝角及九龍灣車廠管理,行走212,216M及224X。及後於一九九七年,AA43-47從九巴車隊中退役,成為計AA1之後首批退役的飛鏢,轉售予藝東有限公司,作為口岸穿梭巴士服務一員。至於餘下的五架飛鏢新車,一直未有領取車牌,只是留在車廠,直到過境穿梭巴士服務開辦時,才領取牌照行走。

受制於相關條例,這批飛鏢在投入落馬洲過境穿梭巴士服務時,只有二十個座位,但由於需求遠超預期,於是有關當局迅速將這批飛鏢載客量還原至五十四人,當中四十三個是座位。在車身色彩方面,開辦初期至二零零一年前,基本上可以說以九巴色調作藍本,只是白色底色變成橙色,而在首批猛獅NL263投入營運,並帶來全黃色車身色彩,全數丹尼士飛鏢亦都被換上新色彩。另外,作為車隊中的元老,車隊編號本身是1-10,但於二零零二年,跟NL263互換編號成11-20。原車牌GM261的飛鏢,於二零零五年在交通意外修復後,重新登記車牌作LN5462。

在多款大型單層低地台巴士加入之後,加上車齡漸高以及單門車身在這大上大落的路線上有一定局限性,新香港巴士於是乎開始替其尋找接班人。在整個飛鏢車隊中,除GL8510因交通意外而於二零零六年退役外,其他飛鏢一直行走至二零一一年三月退役,原先的位置悉數由猛獅18.320取代。除了自家的飛鏢外,過往在過境客量高峰時間,九巴會派出旗下的低地台版飛鏢行走X76支援路線,但只會到口岸香港邊界為止。隨著更多陸路過境口岸開通,在近年需求減少下,X76已經再沒有開辦。

Dennis Dart is the most successful midibus and in the past decade, not only Hong Kong but also Macau, a good number of Dennis Dart with different bodyworks and specification can be seen on the road. The fleet of the Lok Ma Chau cross border bus is first composed of 10 Dennis Dart.

The Dennis Dart for this shuttle service were delivered in 1995 and made up of 11 samples with Northern Counties bodywork. The County Bus Paladin bodywork on the Dart, first in Hong Kong, featured with rounded shape windows and painted with standard KMB air conditioned bus livery. Among 6 of them , classed as AA43 - 48 and served route 212, 216M and 224X until 1997, with only AA48 left in KMB while the other sold to Art East Co., Ltd. (later become New Hong Kong Bus) for the cross border bus service. The remaining 5 were not yet registered and stored in the depot until the opening of the shuttle bus service.

At the initial stage of service, as restricted by related ordinance, the Dart can only carry 20 passengers each trip but soon changed back to their original carrying capacity, 43 seats plus 16 standees, as a response to the demand. The livery of the cross border shuttle bus was orange as the base colour with a red strip at the top of the window. The yellow livery we seen at present was introduced in 2001 accompanied with the commission of the MAN NL263. All Dennis Dart were subsequently repainted with the new livery by 2002 and at the same time, the original fleet number of 1 - 10 was changed to 11 - 20, previous used on the NL263. One of the Dennis Dart, GM261, re-entered service with a new registration number LN5462 in 2005 after a serious traffic accident.

NHKB realized the Dennis Dart was not suitable for this short-distanced with frequent loading service as they only with a single doorway. To meet the growing demand, more and more full-sized super low floor single decker were acquired. The first to be withdrawn Dart was GL8510 as a result of traffic accident in 2006 while the remaining, finally replaced by Gemilang bodied MAN 18.320 in Mar., 2011. In the past there was a route X76 running between Sun Tin and Lok Ma Chau Port, operated by KMB Dennis Dart SLF, to support the cross border bus during the peak seasons. As there are more choices for ground immigration control points and the demand for the Lok Ma Chau cross border service was decreased, no more X76 serving commuters in the past few years was resulted.


車隊編號/車牌 Fleet No./Registration No.:13,前九巴AA43,ex-KMB AA43/GL8510

車隊編號/車牌 Fleet No./Registration No.:17/HB5093

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