L-R: Reg & Yvonne Clark (Clark's Buses), Shannon Fentiman MP and Matt Longland (TransLink’s Deputy Director General).
Clark’s Buses and TransLink, the Queensland Government’s public transport division, have delivered an Australian-first Hino Poncho bus to the streets of Holmview, a suburb of Logan City.
“Australia is the first overseas market for the Hino Poncho bus, meaning Holmview locals will be the first in the world outside Japan to realise its benefits including the remarkably quick wheelchair boarding, which takes less than a minute,” said Bill Gillespie, General Manager, Brand and Franchise Development for Hino Australia.
"Hino is pleased to work with TransLink and Clark’s Buses on this community transport solution for Holmview, and we congratulate them on their foresight in selecting a bus that is already compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), which will come into full effect in 2022,” said Mr Gillespie of the DDA which outlines provisions for equal public access to services and facilities, including public transport.
“Measuring under 7 metres in length and featuring a tight turning radius, the Hino Poncho bus is the perfect solution for community transport, like the narrow streets of the Holmview estate,” he said.
Matt Longland, TransLink’s Deputy Director General said: “TransLink is proud to be leading the way by introducing smart solutions onto the public transport network.
“The Poncho’s innovative design, with its wheelchair friendly access and smaller size, is perfect for the Holmview route and we are really excited to see it in action.
“The new Holmview route served by the Poncho opens up more opportunities for locals to access jobs or health and education services as well as making it easier to take a trip to the shops.”
Graham Davis, CEO of Clark’s Buses said Poncho’s specifications were perfect for the Holmview route and he was impressed with its design and eye-catching appeal.
“We are delighted to continue our relationship with Hino Australia, a partnership that now spans 38 years.”
The Hino Poncho bus is a long-term solution for community transport in Australia:
“We have been working with Hino Japan for several years to identify and introduce the right bus for the community transport market – in addition to its public transport potential, it provides an affordable, flexible option for organisations like aged care providers, schools and universities,” said Mr Gillespie.
“There really isn’t another bus like it in the Australian market – this particular bus has a DDA-compliant 18-seat saloon layout including wheelchair provision plus standees.
“With high levels of safety and a Hino/JBus designed and built driveline, the Hino Poncho also delivers on our QDR (Quality, Durability and Reliability) promise.
Key safety features of the Hino Poncho include ABS, three emergency exit points, a comprehensive field of vision and air-over-hydraulic brakes.
For added safety the large 850mm sliding door features sensitive touch technology and extra sensors near the entrance to stop the door from closing if there is an obstruction.
A door interlock also ensure the door stays closed until the ‘park’ gear is selected.
Rear-mounted for easy servicing access, the J05E-TS 4-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine produces 180Hp (132kW) and 530Nm of torque and meets Australian emission standards with a DPR emissions control system.
In addition to power steering, telescopic and tilt-adjustable steering column and three-way adjustable seat, the driver benefits from a true two-pedal solution courtesy of a five-speed Aisin A500 automatic transmission with torque converter.
On-road comfort is a priority and is ensured via an air bag suspension with shock absorber and stabilisers.
Hino Australia also provides a three-year, 100,000km warranty, whichever comes first, as part of the Hino Advantage suite of business benefits.