KUCHING: Sarawak will shift to electric buses for its public transportation system, starting at the state capital of Kuching, as it seeks to reduce carbon output in the city.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Government's aim to increase use of zero-emission public transportation will also see the introduction of hydrogen fuel-cell buses at the end of the year.
He said the Government has discussed the matter with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
The proposed Stage Bus Service Transformation (SBST) programme will see the introduction of 130 buses covering 27 routes across the city including Kota Samarahan, Batu Kawa, Samajaya, Santubong and Telaga Air.
Abang Johari said the state has rejected SPAD's proposal of using diesel-powered buses and will allocate funds to implement the SBST programme here using electric buses instead.
"We have deliberated on the matter and decided that all buses for public transportation will use clean energy.
"The higher cost of electric buses means that SPAD might allocate fewer buses for Kuching but the important part is that we are looking to cut urban pollution and become more environmentally friendly," he told reporters here after opening the new premises of Inter-Continental Travel Centre Sdn Bhd here on Friday (Feb 2).
On the introduction of hydrogen fuel-cell buses, Abang Johari said the state will acquire three such buses for its pilot project.
One of the buses will be used by the Sarawak Tourism Board to transport tourists around the city.
"Before we commission the hydrogen buses, we have to build a filling station that will be located in Bintawa. We hope to roll out the hydrogen buses at the end of the year," he added.