City Buses with Allison’s Fully Automatic Transmissions Provide Even Greater Comfort to Okinawa Sightseers

TOKYO, May 9, 2022 – Allison Transmission, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial vehicles, is pleased to announce that Tokyo Bus Co., Ltd., operator of Japan's largest chartered bus network, put into service four large city buses with Allison Torqmatic Series™ transmissions at its Okinawa Branch located in Tomigusuku City, Okinawa Prefecture in September 2020. This was followed with the addition of three medium-sized city buses with Allison fully automatic transmissions in January 2022.

In September 2020, the Tokyo Bus Okinawa Branch opened a new route connecting the Kokusai-dori Street entrance, Naha Airport and Itoman City Hall to meet demand, which has been rising in recent years. In the past, there was no public transportation that provided access from Naha Airport or major sightseeing spots such as Kokusai-dori Street to the popular tourist destinations of the Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Hotel, the Ashibinaa Outlet Mall, or the shopping mall of Iias Okinawa Toyosaki. This made visiting these destinations difficult for tourists without rental cars. Tourism is one of Okinawa's main industries, so developing infrastructure and making it easier for even more tourists to enjoy the various attractions Okinawa has to offer is vital to attracting new and repeat visitors.

The Allison fully automatic transmissions used in these city buses feature Continuous Power Technology™, which provides uninterrupted torque that enables them to drive smoothly, with little shift interrupt due to gear changes. This is essential for providing tourists with a comfortable ride and allows drivers to feel secure. This has earned high praise from both passengers and drivers alike.

"The new route is roughly 20 kilometers long, extending from the Kokusai-dori Street entrance to the Itoman City Hall. Not only is it being used for work and school commuting by local residents, but it also provides access to popular sightseeing spots, so it's used by many tourists, as well,” said Kenji Kubota, Operating Officer of the Tokyo Bus Okinawa Branch. “We decided to introduce new buses with Allison automatic transmissions, with their minimal shift interrupts, so that customers could enjoy riding in comfort. Furthermore, in order to provide customers with even greater convenience, we are also providing free Wi-Fi on-board the bus. This service isn't offered by any other city buses in Okinawa and has been very well received. Our drivers have praised the buses, saying that they have excellent acceleration response and performance, and that they offer superb driving power even on hills, with little shift interrupts. In our new personnel training, we've spent a great deal of time on smooth clutch operation training for manual transmission vehicles. Automatic transmissions eliminate the need for this, so we can use the time we've freed up for other operation training. Adding buses with automatic transmissions to our fleet has provided major benefits for both our customers and our drivers. Although the number of tourists has not yet recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels, here in the resort city of Okinawa, we're ready to welcome the influx of travelers to come."

Allison Torqmatic Series transmissions are used in roughly 75% of the large city buses in Japan. Since 2020, they have also been used in medium-sized buses manufactured by Isuzu and Hino. Allison Torqmatic Series transmissions have been used to support the smooth operation of over 10,000 city buses, which offer punctual service despite frequent stops and starts.

10 May, 2022