NATION

Sunbeam’s First Automatic Bus

Sunbeam Transport Limited has bought in their first automatic bus which will provide service for many commuters daily between Lautoka and Suva. Scania Sweden & Laksana Coach Indonesia jointly delivered
21 Feb 2015 08:12
Sunbeam’s First Automatic Bus
The Sunbeam Transport Limited’s first automatic bus.

Sunbeam Transport Limited has bought in their first automatic bus which will provide service for many commuters daily between Lautoka and Suva.

Scania Sweden & Laksana Coach Indonesia jointly delivered the first Scania Opticruz for the company.

The chassis was directly received from Scania Sweden while the bodywork was crafted in Indonesia to the highest of safety specifications.

The new Scania coach is powered by a six-cylinder turbo engine boosting 360hp, delivering this power is an eight-speed automatic drivetrain.

Like most of the new coaches in the fleet, this Scania has a EURO 3 engine while the later engines (Euro 4s and 5s) are available.

Managing director Abdul Wahab said: “We are unable to support the later engines because of the current fuel grade that’s available in Fiji.

“However it’s not too far in the future when these restrictions will be overcome in our country.”

Mr Wahab confirmed that many questions were raised with Sunbeam going with automatic over the traditional manual transmission.

“Sunbeam takes this as a research and development project, as this is the first bus in its category to come with an auto transmission,” Mr Wahab said.

“It’s been a good two months as the bus has been servicing both the Queens Highway and the Kings Highway. So far, both customer and driver feedback has been nothing but positive.

The company plans to bring in another fleet of buses by mid-year to boost its services.

Operations manager West Zaved Wahab said: “Our first automatic bus which is made in Indonesia is in the country but more will be coming soon.

“Since, more buses will be coming in we will be recruiting more drivers to provide these services. It has television, air-condition and luxury fabric seats for the comfort of the people,” he said.

“The new buses are European standard and therefore possibly costly than other makes but it does not mean fares will change.”

The company is also hoping to get approvals for new trips to be made from the number of trips they currently have.

“The Land Transport Authority has given us a number of trips last year but we hope that the new proposed trips also get approved as the standard is good.”

The company employees 180 professional, trained staff and operate a young modern fleet of 60 buses and coaches ranging in capacity from 50-70 seats.

The fleet is crafted by both P A LAL coachworks (Suva) & Laksana Indonesia to specific builds with safety as the main concern.

sheetal.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

 



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