Sunday, August 29, 2010

A review of the SBST Scania K230UB and SMRT Mercedes-Benz OC500LE [Part 3]

Well, it’s been quite awhile and its time to wrap up.
The Scania K230UB and the OC500LE are rivals to each other given the similarities that they share and the time period that they actually came in (quite literally together).

The 900 Scania K230UB seens to redefines buses towards the generic term of bus, that is a “just another bus: ferrying passengers from A to B”. Overall, the 900 Scanias seems to have lost the passion,soul and excitement in being new buses. The general feel of the K230UBs is that the buses are built for the sake of their purpose and bland, not much ‘oomph’ or ‘wow’ injected into their lifeblood to attract passengers to board with the bodywork and interior. Though the Euro EEV version does inject a bit more oomph with more comfort,more seats and a slightly different interior/exterior. In fact it seems like to save cost the designers just went with the simplest and most effective design regardless of how it looks to reduce manufacturing cost since it’s 900 buses.

The montonous radiator sound that every single KUB is irritating –> get a radio or a mp3 player for any trip upon this bus.

The conclusion that i can give to the Scania K230UBs is that they are generally boring, not because of there are 900 of them running down the road, but even a single unit of the bus, the interior’s colour choice and exterior is enough to feel “huh…its this bus again”, instead of “oh yea, it’s this bus again!” Yea, though opinions may vary.

The Scania K230UB have their own good points though, some buses at a few depots like HGDEP they aren’t really bad. The first use of Electronic Destination Signage fleet wide to ease the loading of destination to the destination area for the bus captain, a fleet of Euro IV/EEV environmentally friendly buses and moving towards easy accessibility for everyone.

On the other hand, it is the OC500LEs that redefines the new age of buses. This is the bus that feels that it is made not just for the purpose of moving people from one end to another, but to move them in style and comfort. The moment you see this bus arriving you know you’ll be in for a treat, standing or seating.

There is the excitement whenever you see an OC500LE on the road. A comfortable journey awaits you upon boarding with a luxurious interior and comfortable seats, though i might hope that the cushions are a little bit thicker and hopefully reconfigure it to one wheelchair bay.  Nuff’ said, it’s better to take it yourself and feel it because some portion of the OC is so good that i can’t find the words to describe them.


Towards the future – A PIW/Low floor/easy accessiblity.

As the old buses starts to retire the Scania K230UB and the OC500LEs are brought in to replace them. I believe that the next target for both companies will be to aim for 100% accessibility for all passengers, so we can look forward to more exciting buses being brought in to serve the commuters with more comfort.Also of one point of interest is wether if SBST/SMRT will consider fully low floor buses instead of low entry buses like the Scania or the OC.Of course, even if the new buses are bodied by Gemilang, i believe everyone will wish to see improvements too. And besides, we’ve never had Malaysian bodywork before! :D

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