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Retired HK buses revamped with green tech

Image Credits: HKSAR Government, Press Release

Not all retired double-decker buses need to be consigned to the scrapheap.

Under the Used & Retired Bus Programme by a bus company that operates franchised services in Hong Kong, which was rolled out at the end of 2016, decommissioned single and double-decker buses are donated to schools and non-governmental organisations.

The Buddhist Chi King Primary School was one of the recipients of a retired bus which now enjoys a new lease of life as a library and learning centre.

The original features, such as the steering wheel and handrails were retained, providing children with an exciting new learning venue.

Up to now, 24 buses have been donated. The vehicles are converted into classrooms and interactive learning centres with various themes. Educators believe the revamped buses provide a unique and inspiring learning atmosphere.

The Principal of Buddhist Chi King Primary School lauded the programme as interesting and educational.

Recycling buses and adding new tech elements enables young citizens to realise the value of recycling and is an important lesson to pass on to the younger generation.

Green accolades

The Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence, organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Department and nine other organisations, encourages business and private sectors to jointly combat climate change.

At the 2018 awards, KMB’s advanced green technologies and innovative ideas were recognised with the Gold Award in the Transport & Logistics Sector.

The company’s award-winning green transport efforts include installing more solar panels on the roof of its double-deckers, marking a 40% increase in coverage area compared to the first generation of buses.

The Assistant Engineer at KMB explained that the panels convert energy from the sun into electricity to power the ventilation system which cools down the bus while it is parked. The new cooling system also enables the bus to save fuel.

When the engine is off, the power captured will drive the extraction motor located in the upper saloon. This can reduce the saloon temperature by an estimated 8 to 10 degrees Celsius. It is also estimated that the fuel consumption reduction is around 3%.

Upgraded facilities

Not only buses are becoming greener. One of the firm’s most recent innovations is its Green Bus Shelter Scheme, through which the rooftops of hundreds of bus stops without any electrical installations would be equipped with solar panel systems to provide electrical power to support lights and anti-mosquito devices.

At pre-set times the system will switch on the lights and anti-mosquito device under the shelter so that passengers no longer need to wait in the dark.

The company has also set up its first solar bus stop pole featuring solar-powered bulbs with an auto-sensor, which means they automatically light up in the dark.

Passengers can then obtain bus route information during the day and at night.

Pushing HK’s green tech agenda

In 2012, the HKSAR Government created the Green Technology Consortium (GTC), a non-profitable and non-governmental organization which aims to promote sustainable green technology transfer as well as to enhance environmental education awareness to the public.

The vision of the organization is to promote green technology to the community in order to protect the environment and set its mission to promote environmental education by incorporating sustainable green technology to the public community in Hong Kong.

Initiatives like the Used & Retired Bus Programme further the green tech goals of Hong Kong and bring it one step closer to becoming a greener city.

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