Kyoto City Buses' "Second Life" in Laos34 Vehicles Donated in Return for Elephants29 November 2016 - Local topics
Kyoto City Government decided to donate 34 city buses, which were retired from service last fiscal year due to vehicle replacement, to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The presentation ceremony was held on November 29, at Kyoto City Hall Plaza in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto. As Laos donated four elephants to Kyoto City Zoo two years ago, those involved in the donation said hopefully, "Now, we hope that the city buses will be loved by the people in Laos."
Kyoto City has a partner-city arrangement with Vientiane to support private-sector exchanges. Recently in Laos, traffic congestion and accidents have increased amid the economic growth. Therefore, with the aim of improving public transportation, Vientiane requested Kyoto City to donate city buses in July. It was decided to donate vehicles that had been used for 18 to 20 years.
In the presentation ceremony, Daisaku Kadokawa, Mayor of Kyoto, said in greeting, "I am happy the buses that citizens used with care will be used again. We would like to deepen our friendship further." The deputy director of the Department of Public Works and Transport of the Vientiane government responded, "We would like to use them with great care for a long time," and received the replica key in front of the vehicles.
The city buses will arrive in Vientiane next January. Stickers which say "From Kyoto, Japan" and have an illustration of an elephant will be attached to the front and rear sides. The light-green exterior of the vehicles will remain the same.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)