Toyota Coaster

Japanese Toyota Coasters were one of the smallest vehicles in the Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) fleet with only 24 seats, and without standee. The original purpose for the Company to purchase such kind of small buses, was to replace the old Albion Chieftain single-deckers for Route 90 which served between Choi Hung and Rennie's Mill. Since the route went via some narrow winding suburb roads so that larger buses could not be allocated, and initially, 9 Toyota Coasters were acquired for the route in 1987.

In the late 1980s, KMB started to introduce air-conditioned bus services, but found it a lack of suitable buses for those routes. Therefore the Company approached to Toyota again and asked for 82 more Coasters during 1988-90. At the same time KMB also acquired 25 Hino RK coaches from Argos on lease basis.

In the early 1990s, another Japanese manufacturer, Mitsubishi, had designed and supplied a midi-bus type, Fuso MK117J, for KMB. Also, Dennis Dart had been proven to be reliable in England. In view of the significant increase in popularity for the air-conditioned bus routes, KMB found the Toyota Coasters too small to handle large passenger demand, and started to introduce those new single-deckers in bulk orders. Toyota Coasters were gradually replaced by these new buses, and all of them were withdrawn from the fleet in 1997.

Above: An unidentified Toyota Coaster at KMB Tuen Mun Depot before having a registration. The route display is showing 299, which was served by Coasters in the past, and is now allocated with double-deckers.(1990/06/27)

AT65 (EJ 6276) at China Ferry Terminal bus terminus while serving Route 202. The route was a feeder service between the ferry terminal and Tsim Sha Tsui, which was introduced with the opening of the ferry terminal in 1988. After allocating more routes to terminate the ferry terminal, this route was cancelled subsequently. The bus was designed for serving Airbus routes with the special "Airbus" livery, however, the livery had not been completed yet.

Route 203 is another air-conditioned route served by Toyota Coasters in the past and this AT19 (DX 4533) was one of them. After the withdrawal of the Coasters, the route is now allocated with Mitsubishi Fuso MK.(1992/05/12)

Route B1 is one of the last routes served by Toyota Coasters. Routes B1 and 203 were promoted as "Nathan Shopper" with discounted fares and special livery on the bus bodies. AT48 (EG 8431) is seen approaching Star Ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui. (1996/07/16)

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