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The Kuching Hydrogen Bus is a free bus service plying two routes in Kuching and is managed by Sarawak Metro.

Announced in 2019, the bus service has been offering free bus rides around Kuching, catering for both locals and tourist.

Despite being around for almost three years, I only managed to use the bus today and here’s my experience.

Taking the Kuching Hydrogen Bus

Since I am taking the bus to check it out, I decided to look out for the best pick – up point.

I installed the H2 app to track the bus, and saw there was convenience for me to get on the bus at Plaza Merdeka as I could park my car safely there and use the bus.

I felt it was pretty awesome I could track the bus, as the arrival time at the next station was clearly mentioned in the app.

The great thing here is that the ‘Bus schedule stops’ is up-to-date, and it informs me when the bus nears the next stop.

This ensure I could be alert of the arrival of the bus and not miss it.

Such tracking is good so that I could spend less time waiting like what I used to do when I use traditional busses.

Ride experience

Once entering the bus, it was obvious the bus was well maintained. The bus was clean and the 16 seater bus moved along the route without much fuss.

Since the front seats were allocated to the disabled and elderly, I moved to the back of the bus which was higher and sat at the last row.

The bus interior. Photo: CyrilDason

At 1.72m, I couldn’t really see far as the last row of seats were rather high and my view was mostly blocked by the top panel of the window.

I could see vehicles that past by the bus but if I wanted to see further, I had to slightly bend down.

I noticed there was a lot of bars and handles in the bus as opposed to seats, so I think this bus was more focused on standing passengers.

Safety glass breaking equipment were visible around the bus as well.

Inside, the Hydrogen engine sounded like a typical diesel powered engine.  I guess, Hydrogen engines produce similar noise like their Diesel brothers.

The journey along the Downtown Kuching Loop was quick as the bus hardly stopped to pick up any passengers.

Perhaps this was due to most bus stops being empty but this made the bus feel like a tour bus to be honest.

It did slow down near the Sarawak General Hospital where there was a man seated at the bus stop, but since he didn’t stand up, the bus moved on with its journey.

There was Free WIFI available in the bus, and I could do some basic surfing while on my journey.

As I came to my destination, I couldn’t spot any bells to indicate I needed to go down and so I resorted to approaching the driver to inform him that I needed to go down at the next station.

I ended my Hydrogen Bus maiden experience with hope that improvements could be made to make service better.

Recommended improvements

I am fairly favourable of using public transportation and I do think the Kuching Hydrogen Bus is a step forward for Kuching.

I do however think there needs to be improvements if it want to be a the preferred choice among the locals.

For the Hydrogen bus service, I hope that the H2 App could be further improved, specifically the map.

It would be even better if the app could be integrated with the GPS tracker of the Kuching Electric Bus service (which is another company) to ensure passengers could interchange between busses.

I also think there should be clearer signage for the facilities provided on the bus such as the bell, and the free WiFi.

Most importantly, the bus stops need to be clearly marked so that users know where they can get a ride on the bus. A good example is how Grab decorates their waiting area, which is clear to everyone.

Conclusion

Overall, The Kuching Hydrogen Bus is showing promise.

I am made to understand that it is still on a trail run and that more will be done to improve its services.

I hope that these improvements will further enhance Kuching public transportation and make it a preferred way to move in Kuching, if not Sarawak.

For more details on the Kuching Hydrogen Bus, you can read this article.

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