豐田 Coaster Toyota Coaster
NLB route 34 was mainly served with minibus since it commissioned on 16 Aug., 1997 as a result of the narrow road conditions along Shek Mun Kap and Chek Lap Kok New Village. Mitsubishi Rosa acquired from Kwoon Chung Group was the important composition of the fleet serving route 34 and the evolutions of Rosa can also be observed in NLB fleet when fleet replacements took place. A tender for a pair of minibus which had to deliver in the end of Sep., 2020 was issued in Aug., 2020, it was expected that these minibuses were transferred from Kwoon Chung as only one month for the delivery. A pair of Toyota Coaster first new to Kwoon Chung in 2015 was transferred to NLB in Mar., 2021 which was the third batch of Coaster operated in the fleet with TCM as their fleet prefix.
Backed to 2001, NLB acquired a pair of 20-seaters Toyota Coaster classed as TY01 and TY02 first registered in 1997 from Kwoon Chung Group and they were mainly used on special service like 11S and 23S or private hiring instead of serving route 34 as the Rosa. The TY-class was then less seen working on the special services as a result of the opening of NP360 in 2006. In addition, the further relaxation of Tung Chung Road restriction after improvement works completed in 2009 allowed tourists can travel directly to Southern Lantau from the city, hence demand for private hire service of NLB was dropped dramatically. With the little demand and already reached their useful service life for 12 years, TY01 and 02 were finally retired in 2009.
Another 3 Toyota Coaster (model JT743) which can accommodate 19 seating passengers and entered service with Kwoon Chung in 1996 were joined NLB in 2001 for the conversion of route A35 to minibus operation due to low patronage. No fleet number was applied on these Coaster and they can be only identified by their registration number GU3319, GU3661 and GU4446. During their short service life for about 6 to 9 months in NLB, only decorated with a designated "Airport Line" livery with no further modification works for the use on route A35, they were soon returned to Kwoon Chung as it was not cost effective as expected and full-sized single decker was returned until the adjustment of service hours in 2008.
Looking back the TCM-class introduced in 2021, they were Coaster 6DL which can carry 28 seating passengers with free Wi-Fi networks provided. These Coaster 6DL were powered by a Euro 5 engine with manual transmission supplied by Hino and they were the only franchised bus model fitted with manual transmission in Hong Kong. The Hanover electronic route display fitted on them was came from the retired Mitsubishi Rosa. Though they were delivered in Mar., 2021 as mentioned above, they were first seen on serving route 34 until mid. of Jul., 2021 together with the survived Mitsubishi Rosa MS13.
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