Mitsubishi Fuso U-MK117J
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The MK117 was a single-doored city bus designed for Japanese service. It is said to be an off-shelf product because the buses were manufactured in factory and stored in warehouse before sale. In the late 1980s, Kowloon Motor Bus Co. would like to provide better service with single-deck air-conditioned buses. They found that those in Great Britain, such as National 2, Dart and Lynx, were very expensive. They then switched to Japanese buses, as they are more economical and faster to deliver. Therefore, they placed orders for 168 MK117s in 1990-1992. A small number of them have been converted to training buses and the others remained service. These buses can carry 35 seated passengers and 10 standees. Some of these buses were converted to Airbus to serve Kai Tak Airport routes.
The MK117 is a typical bus of Japanese style. It has very high floor level with three steps. The seats are different from those in British buses and there is no retarder. This type of bus is not as comfortable as other air-conditioned vehicles in KMB fleet. It is because the high-backed seats are not well cushioned, the high floor produces access problem and the noise made by the engine and compressor is among the highest in the fleet.
Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation also ordered a small number of MK117s in 1990. They had more spaces for standees to carry more passengers.
The safety record of MK117 was mediocre. The most serious accident to date happened on 2 September, 1997. An MK117 (EV9984?) ran into a store when It was turning right from Nathan Road to Mongkok Road at night. One passer-by was killed and several injured, including a shop assistant who had her finger cut off in the scene. The accident report showed that there was insufficient time for a driver to make a turn within the time when the signal was green. It was 4 seconds only. This is one of the busiest junctions in Hong Kong and is one of the most notorious blackspots in Kowloon.
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Page created: 4 August 1999
Last updated: 5 February 2012