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A New Routemaster double-decker bus, operating for Arriva London on London Buses route 73 LT 471 (LTZ 1471) Arriva London New Routemaster (19522859218).jpg
A New Routemaster double-decker bus, operating for Arriva London on London Buses route 73
A Toronto Transit Commission bus system trolleybus in Toronto Toronto Flyer E700A trolleybus in 1987.jpg
A Toronto Transit Commission bus system trolleybus in Toronto
David Scott's depiction of the interior of an early 19th Century omnibus Scott Omnibus.jpg
David Scott's depiction of the interior of an early 19th Century omnibus

A bus (contracted from omnibus, [1] with variants multibus, motorbus, autobus, etc.) is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. [2] The most common type of bus is the single-deck rigid bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are used for longer-distance services. Many types of buses, such as city transit buses and inter-city coaches, charge a fare. Other types, such as elementary or secondary school buses or shuttle buses within a post-secondary education campus do not charge a fare. In many jurisdictions, bus drivers require a special licence above and beyond a regular driver's licence.

Passenger person who travels in a vehicle without operating it

A passenger is a living being who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination or otherwise operate the vehicle.

Single-deck bus

A single-decker bus or single-decker is a bus that has a single deck for passengers. Normally the use of the term single-decker refers to a standard two-axled rigid bus, in direct contrast to the use of the term double-decker bus, which is essentially a bus with two passengers decks and a staircase. These types of single-deckers may feature one or more doors, and varying internal combustion engine positions.

Rigid bus

A rigid bus is a vehicle used in public transportation services with a single, rigid chassis. A bus of this type is to be contrasted with an articulated or bi-articulated bus, which will have two or more two rigid sections linked by a pivoting joint,also with a trailer bus, which is formed out of a bus bodied semi-trailer pulled by a conventional tractor unit.


Buses may be used for scheduled bus transport, scheduled coach transport, school transport, private hire, or tourism; promotional buses may be used for political campaigns and others are privately operated for a wide range of purposes, including rock and pop band tour vehicles.

Public transport bus service road transport using buses

Public transport bus services are generally based on regular operation of transit buses along a route calling at agreed bus stops according to a published public transport timetable.

Tour bus service sightseeing bus service for tourists

A tour bus service is a bus service that takes visitors sightseeing, with routes around tourist attractions.

Political campaign attempt to influence the decision making process within a specific group

A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making progress within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, by which representatives are chosen or referendums are decided. In modern politics, the most high-profile political campaigns are focused on general elections and candidates for head of state or head of government, often a president or prime minister.

Horse-drawn buses were used from the 1820s, followed by steam buses in the 1830s, and electric trolleybuses in 1882. The first internal combustion engine buses, or motor buses, were used in 1895. [3] Recently, interest has been growing in hybrid electric buses, fuel cell buses, and electric buses, as well as ones powered by compressed natural gas or biodiesel. As of the 2010s, bus manufacturing is increasingly globalised, with the same designs appearing around the world.

Horsebus horse-drawn passenger transport vehicle

A horse-bus or horse-drawn omnibus was a large, enclosed and sprung horse-drawn vehicle used for passenger transport before the introduction of motor vehicles. It was mainly used in the late 19th century in both the United States and Europe, and was one of the most common means of transportation in cities. In a typical arrangement, two wooden benches along the sides of the passenger cabin held several sitting passengers facing each other. The driver sat on a separate, front-facing bench, typically in an elevated position outside the passengers' enclosed cabin. In the main age of horse buses, many of them were double-decker buses. On the upper deck, which was uncovered, the longitudinal benches were arranged back to back.

Steam bus

A steam bus is a bus powered by a steam engine. Early steam-powered vehicles designed for carrying passengers were more usually known as steam carriages, although this term was sometimes used to describe other early experimental vehicles too.

Trolleybus electric bus reliant on overhead wires

A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws power from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit. This differs from a tram or streetcar, which normally uses the track as the return path, needing only one wire and one pole. They are also distinct from other kinds of electric buses, which usually rely on batteries. Power is most commonly supplied as 600-volt direct current, but there are exceptions.


An early horse-drawn omnibus Omnibus - Project Gutenberg eText 16943.jpg
An early horse-drawn omnibus

Bus is a clipped form of the Latin adjective omnibus ("for all"), the dative plural of omnis-e ("all"). [4] The theoretical full name is in French voiture omnibus [1] ("vehicle for all"). The name originates from a mass-transport service started in 1823 by a French corn-mill owner named Stanislas Baudry  [ fr ] in Richebourg, a suburb of Nantes. A by-product of his mill was hot water, and thus next to it he established a spa business. In order to encourage customers he started a horse-drawn transport service from the city centre of Nantes to his establishment. The first vehicles stopped in front of the shop of a hatter named Omnés, which displayed a large sign inscribed "Omnes Omnibus", a pun on his Latin-sounding surname, omnes being the male and female nominative, vocative and accusative form of the Latin adjective omnis-e ("all"), [4] combined with omnibus, the dative plural form meaning "for all", thus giving his shop the name "Omnés for all", or "everything for everyone." His transport scheme was a huge success, although not as he had intended as most of his passengers did not visit his spa. He turned the transport service into his principal lucrative business venture and closed the mill and spa. [5] Nantes citizens soon gave the nickname "omnibus" to the vehicle. [1] Having invented the successful concept Baudry moved to Paris and launched the first omnibus service there in April 1828. [1] A similar service was introduced in London in 1829. [6] [7] [8]

In linguistics, clipping is the word formation process which consists in the reduction of a word to one of its parts. Clipping is also known as "truncation" or "shortening".

Adjective part of speech that describes a noun or pronoun

In linguistics, an adjective is word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or noun phrase. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun.

Nantes Prefecture and commune in Pays de la Loire, France

Nantes is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of 303,382 in Nantes and a metropolitan area of nearly 950,000 inhabitants. With Saint-Nazaire, a seaport on the Loire estuary, Nantes forms the main north-western French metropolis.


Steam buses

Amedee Bollee's L'Obeissante (1875) Obeissante.jpg
Amédée Bollée's L'Obéissante (1875)

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation.

Walter Hancock British inventor

Walter Hancock was an English inventor of the Victorian period. He is chiefly remembered for his steam-powered road vehicles, but also received a patent for preparing and cutting natural rubber into sheets. He was the younger brother of Thomas Hancock, the inventor of rubber mastication who is also claimed by some to be the inventor of rubber vulcanization.

Goldsworthy Gurney surgeon, chemist, lecturer, consultant, architect, builder, gentleman scientist, inventor

Sir Goldsworthy Gurney was an English surgeon, chemist, lecturer, consultant, architect, builder. He was a prototypical British gentleman scientist and inventor of the Victorian era.

The first mechanically propelled omnibus appeared on the streets of London on 22 April 1833. [9] Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, they travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages, they were much cheaper to run, and caused much less damage to the road surface due to their wide tyres. [10]

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the turnpike trusts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically propelled vehicles from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country. [11]


World's first trolleybus, Berlin 1882 First Trolleybuss of Siemens in Berlin 1882.gif
World's first trolleybus, Berlin 1882

In parallel to the development of the bus was the invention of the electric trolleybus, typically fed through trolley poles by overhead wires. The Siemens brothers, William in England and Ernst Werner in Germany, collaborated on the development of the trolleybus concept. Sir William first proposed the idea in an article to the Journal of the Society of Arts in 1881 as an "...arrangement by which an ordinary omnibus...would have a suspender thrown at intervals from one side of the street to the other, and two wires hanging from these suspenders; allowing contact rollers to run on these two wires, the current could be conveyed to the tram-car, and back again to the dynamo machine at the station, without the necessity of running upon rails at all." [12]

The first such vehicle, the Electromote, was made by his brother Dr. Ernst Werner von Siemens and presented to the public in 1882 in Halensee, Germany. [13] Although this experimental vehicle fulfilled all the technical criteria of a typical trolleybus, it was dismantled in the same year after the demonstration. [14]

Max Schiemann opened a passenger-carrying trolleybus in 1901 near Dresden, in Germany. Although this system operated only until 1904, Schiemann had developed what is now the standard trolleybus current collection system. In the early days, a few other methods of current collection were used. Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain on 20 June 1911.

Motor buses

The first internal combustion omnibus of 1895 (Siegen to Netphen) Erste Benzin-Omnibus der Welt.jpg
The first internal combustion omnibus of 1895 (Siegen to Netphen)

In Siegerland, Germany, two passenger bus lines ran briefly, but unprofitably, in 1895 using a six-passenger motor carriage developed from the 1893 Benz Viktoria. [3] Another commercial bus line using the same model Benz omnibuses ran for a short time in 1898 in the rural area around Llandudno, Wales. [15]

Daimler also produced one of the earliest motor-bus models in 1898, selling a double-decker bus to the Motor Traction Company which was first used on the streets of London on 23 April 1898. [16] The vehicle had a maximum speed of 18 km/h (11.2 mph) and accommodated up to 20 passengers, in an enclosed area below and on an open-air platform above. With the success and popularity of this bus, Daimler expanded production, selling more buses to companies in London and, in 1899, to Stockholm and Speyer. [16] Daimler also entered into a partnership with the British company Milnes and developed a new double-decker in 1902 that became the market standard.

Early LGOC B-type B43OleBillatIWMLondon.jpg
Early LGOC B-type

The first mass-produced bus model was the B-type double-decker bus, designed by Frank Searle and operated by the London General Omnibus Company – it entered service in 1910, and almost 3,000 had been built by the end of the decade. Hundreds saw military service on the Western Front during the First World War. [17]

Daimler CC Bus 1912. One of five Daimler buses exported to Australia Daimler CC Bus (1912).jpg
Daimler CC Bus 1912. One of five Daimler buses exported to Australia

The Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company, which rapidly became a major manufacturer of buses in the US, was founded in Chicago in 1923 by John D. Hertz. General Motors purchased a majority stake in 1925 and changed its name to the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. They then purchased the balance of the shares in 1943 to form the GM Truck and Coach Division.

Models expanded in the 20th century, leading to the widespread introduction of the contemporary recognizable form of full-sized buses from the 1950s. The AEC Routemaster, developed in the 1950s, was a pioneering design and remains an icon of London to this day. [18] The innovative design used lightweight aluminium and techniques developed in aircraft production during World War II. [19] As well as a novel weight-saving integral design, it also introduced for the first time on a bus independent front suspension, power steering, a fully automatic gearbox, and power-hydraulic braking. [20]


Interior of a bus Athens bus interior in 2013.jpg
Interior of a bus

Formats include single-decker bus, double-decker bus (both usually with a rigid chassis) and articulated bus (or 'bendy-bus') the prevalence of which varies from country to country. High-capacity bi-articulated buses are also manufactured, and passenger-carrying trailers—either towed behind a rigid bus (a bus trailer) or hauled as a trailer by a truck (a trailer bus). Smaller midibuses have a lower capacity and open-top buses are typically used for leisure purposes. In many new fleets, particularly in local transit systems, a shift to low-floor buses is occurring, primarily for easier accessibility. Coaches are designed for longer-distance travel and are typically fitted with individual high-backed reclining seats, seat belts, toilets, and audio-visual entertainment systems, and can operate at higher speeds with more capacity for luggage. Coaches may be single- or double-deckers, articulated, and often include a separate luggage compartment under the passenger floor. Guided buses are fitted with technology to allow them to run in designated guideways, allowing the controlled alignment at bus stops and less space taken up by guided lanes than conventional roads or bus lanes.

Bus manufacturing may be by a single company (an integral manufacturer), or by one manufacturer's building a bus body over a chassis produced by another manufacturer.


Interior of a bus Inside Bus W.jpg
Interior of a bus


Bus with wheelchair lift extended Praha, DOD 2006 Hostivar, Plosina autobusu Karosa pro invalidy.JPG
Bus with wheelchair lift extended

Transit buses used to be mainly high-floor vehicles. However, they are now increasingly of low-floor design and optionally also 'kneel' air suspension and have electrically or hydraulically extended under-floor ramps to provide level access for wheelchair users and people with baby carriages. Prior to more general use of such technology, these wheelchair users could only use specialist paratransit mobility buses.

Accessible vehicles also have wider entrances and interior gangways and space for wheelchairs. Interior fittings and destination displays may also be designed to be usable by the visually impaired. Coaches generally use wheelchair lifts instead of low-floor designs. In some countries, vehicles are required to have these features by disability discrimination laws.


Buses were initially configured with an engine in the front and an entrance at the rear. With the transition to one-man operation, many manufacturers moved to mid- or rear-engined designs, with a single door at the front or multiple doors. The move to the low-floor design has all but eliminated the mid-engined design, although some coaches still have mid-mounted engines. Front-engined buses still persist for niche markets such as American school buses, some minibuses, and buses in less developed countries, which may be derived from truck chassis, rather than purpose-built bus designs. Most buses have two axles, articulated buses have three.


Guided buses are fitted with technology to allow them to run in designated guideways, allowing the controlled alignment at bus stops and less space taken up by guided lanes than conventional roads or bus lanes. Guidance can be mechanical, optical, or electromagnetic. Extensions of the guided technology include the Guided Light Transit and Translohr systems, although these are more often termed 'rubber-tyred trams' as they have limited or no mobility away from their guideways.


Transit buses are normally painted to identify the operator or a route, function, or to demarcate low-cost or premium service buses. Liveries may be painted onto the vehicle, applied using adhesive vinyl technologies, or using decals. Vehicles often also carry bus advertising or part or all of their visible surfaces (as mobile billboard). Campaign buses may be decorated with key campaign messages; these can be to promote an event or initiative.


Ride On hybrid electric bus with appropriate livery Ride On 5312 at Glenmont.jpg
Ride On hybrid electric bus with appropriate livery
Articulated bus powered with lithium-ion batteries ASEAG 999 Seite.jpg
Articulated bus powered with lithium-ion batteries

The most common power source since the 1920s has been the diesel engine. Early buses, known as trolleybuses, were powered by electricity supplied from overhead lines. Nowadays, electric buses often carry their own battery, which is sometimes recharged on stops/stations to keep the size of the battery small/lightweight. Currently, interest exists in hybrid electric buses, fuel cell buses, electric buses, and ones powered by compressed natural gas or biodiesel. Gyrobuses, which are powered by the momentum stored by a flywheel, were tried in the 1940s.


United Kingdom:

Maximum Length: Single rear axle 13.5 meters. Twin rear axle 15 meters.
Maximum Width: 2.55 meters

United States:

Maximum Length: None
Maximum Width: 2.6 meters


Early bus manufacturing grew out of carriage coachbuilding, and later out of automobile or truck manufacturers. Early buses were merely a bus body fitted to a truck chassis. This body+chassis approach has continued with modern specialist manufacturers, although there also exist integral designs such as the Leyland National where the two are practically inseparable. Specialist builders also exist and concentrate on building buses for special uses or modifying standard buses into specialised products.

Integral designs have the advantages that they have been well-tested for strength and stability, and also are off-the-shelf. However, two incentives cause use of the chassis+body model. First, it allows the buyer and manufacturer both to shop for the best deal for their needs, rather than having to settle on one fixed design—the buyer can choose the body and the chassis separately. Second, over the lifetime of a vehicle (in constant service and heavy traffic), it will likely get minor damage now and again, and being able easily to replace a body panel or window etc. can vastly increase its service life and save the cost and inconvenience of removing it from service.[ citation needed ]

As with the rest of the automotive industry, into the 20th century, bus manufacturing increasingly became globalized, with manufacturers producing buses far from their intended market to exploit labour and material cost advantages. As with the cars, new models are often exhibited by manufacturers at prestigious industry shows to gain new orders.[ citation needed ] A typical city bus costs almost US$450,000. [21]


Public transport

A Mercedes-Benz O405NH CNG public transit bus in Sydney, Australia Sydney Buses (mo 1298) Custom Coaches 'Citaro' bodied Mercedes-Benz O405NH CNG on Loftus Street in Circular Quay (cropped).jpg
A Mercedes-Benz O405NH CNG public transit bus in Sydney, Australia

Transit buses, used on public transport bus services, have utilitarian fittings designed for efficient movement of large numbers of people, and often have multiple doors. Coaches are used for longer-distance routes. High-capacity bus rapid transit services may use the bi-articulated bus or tram-style buses such as the Wright StreetCar and the Irisbus Civis.

Buses and coach services often operate to a predetermined published public transport timetable defining the route and the timing, but smaller vehicles may be used on more flexible demand responsive transport services.


Tour bus being used in France Foxity a Louvre-Rivoli par Cramos (cropped).JPG
Tour bus being used in France

Buses play a major part in the tourism industry. Tour buses around the world allow tourists to view local attractions or scenery. These are often open-top buses, but can also be by regular bus or coach.

In local sightseeing, City Sightseeing is the largest operator of local tour buses, operating on a franchised basis all over the world. Specialist tour buses are also often owned and operated by safari parks and other theme parks or resorts. Longer-distance tours are also carried out by bus, either on a turn up and go basis or through a tour operator, and usually allow disembarkation from the bus to allow touring of sites of interest on foot. These may be day trips or longer excursions incorporating hotel stays. Tour buses often carry a tour guide, although the driver or a recorded audio commentary may also perform this function. The tour operator may itself be a subsidiary of a company that operates buses and coaches for other uses or an independent company that charters buses or coaches. Commuter transport operators may also use their coaches to conduct tours within the target city between the morning and evening commuter transport journey.

Buses and coaches are also a common component of the wider package holiday industry, providing private airport transfers (in addition to general airport buses) and organised tours and day trips for holidaymakers on the package.

Tour buses can also be hired as chartered buses by groups as part of sightseeing at popular holiday destinations. These private tour buses may offer specific stops like all the historical sights or specifically casinos or allow the customers the comfort to make their own itineraries as per the places and activities they want to cover while on their tour. Tour buses come with professional and informed staff, insurance and maintain state governed safety standards. Not only this to make the experience for the tourists more comfortable provide facilities like entertainment units, luxurious reclining seats, large scenic windows, and even lavatories if needed.

Public long-distance coach networks are also often used as a low-cost method of travel by students or young people travelling the world. Some companies such as Topdeck Travel were set up to specifically use buses to drive the hippie trail or travel to places such as North Africa.

In many tourist or travel destinations, a bus is part of the tourist attraction, such as the North American tourist trolleys, London's AEC Routemaster heritage routes, or the customised buses of Malta, Asia, and the Americas. Another example of tourist stops are the homes of celebrities, such as tours based near Hollywood. There are several such services between 6000 and 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Student transport

US school bus HCS bus49.JPG
US school bus

In some countries, particularly the US and Canada, buses used to transport school children have evolved into a specific design with specified mandatory features. American states have also adopted laws regarding motorist conduct around school buses, including serious fines and the possibility of prison time for passing a stopped school bus in the process of offloading children passengers. These school buses feature things such as the school bus yellow livery and crossing guards. Other countries may mandate the use of seat belts. As a minimum, many countries require a bus carrying students to display a sign, and may also adopt yellow liveries. Student transport often uses older buses cascaded from service use, retrofitted with more seats or seatbelts. Student transport may be operated by local authorities or private contractors. Schools may also own and operate their own buses for other transport needs, such as class field trips, or transport to associated sports, music, or other school events.

Private charter

Due to the costs involved in owning, operating, and driving buses and coaches, many bus and coach use a private hire of vehicles from charter bus companies, either for a day or two or a longer contract basis, where the charter company provides the vehicles and qualified drivers.

An example of a private bus operating for BusWest in Perth BCI bodied Mercedes-Benz OC 500 RF BusWest 01.jpg
An example of a private bus operating for BusWest in Perth

Charter bus operators may be completely independent businesses, or charter hire may be a subsidiary business of a public transport operator that might maintain a separate fleet or use surplus buses, coaches, and dual-purpose coach-seated buses. Many private taxicab companies also operate larger minibus vehicles to cater for group fares. Companies, private groups, and social clubs may hire buses or coaches as a cost-effective method of transporting a group to an event or site, such as a group meeting, racing event, or organised recreational activity such as a summer camp. Schools often hire charter bus services on regular basis for transportation of children to and from their homes. Chartered buses are also used by education institutes for transport to conventions, exhibitions, and field trips. Entertainment or event companies may also hire temporary shuttles buses for transport at events such as festivals or conferences. Party buses are used by companies in a similar manner to limousine hire, for luxury private transport to social events or as a touring experience. Sleeper buses are used by bands or other organisations that tour between entertainment venues and require mobile rest and recreation facilities. Some couples hire preserved buses for their wedding transport, instead of the traditional car. Buses are often hired for parades or processions. Victory parades are often held for triumphant sports teams, who often tour their home town or city in an open-top bus. Sports teams may also contract out their transport to a team bus, for travel to away games, to a competition or to a final event. These buses are often specially decorated in a livery matching the team colours. Private companies often contract out private shuttle bus services, for transport of their customers or patrons, such as hotels, amusement parks, university campuses, or private airport transfer services. This shuttle usage can be as transport between locations, or to and from parking lots. High specification luxury coaches are often chartered by companies for executive or VIP transport. Charter buses may also be used in tourism and for promotion (See Tourism and Promotion sections).

Private ownership

Police bus Taipei Taiwan Police-bus-01.jpg
Police bus

Many organisations, including the police, not for profit, social or charitable groups with a regular need for group transport may find it practical or cost-effective to own and operate a bus for their own needs. These are often minibuses for practical, tax and driver licensing reasons, although they can also be full-size buses. Cadet or scout groups or other youth organizations may also own buses. Specific charities may exist to fund and operate bus transport, usually using specially modified mobility buses or otherwise accessible buses (See Accessibility section). Some use their contributions to buy vehicles and provide volunteer drivers.

Airport operators make use of special airside airport buses for crew and passenger transport in the secure airside parts of an airport. Some public authorities, police forces, and military forces make use of armoured buses where there is a special need to provide increased passenger protection. The United States Secret Service acquired two in 2010 for transporting dignitaries needing special protection. [22] Police departments make use of police buses for a variety of reasons, such as prisoner transport, officer transport, temporary detention facilities, and as command and control vehicles. Some fire departments also use a converted bus as a command post [23] while those in cold climates might retain a bus as a heated shelter at fire scenes. [24] Many are drawn from retired school or service buses.


Buses are often used for advertising, political campaigning, public information campaigns, public relations, or promotional purposes. These may take the form of temporary charter hire of service buses, or the temporary or permanent conversion and operation of buses, usually of second-hand buses. Extreme examples include converting the bus with displays and decorations or awnings and fittings. Interiors may be fitted out for exhibition or information purposes with special equipment or audio visual devices.

Advertisement on a bus AVBWU237 641(KMB) 14-09-2018.jpg
Advertisement on a bus

Bus advertising takes many forms, often as interior and exterior adverts and all-over advertising liveries. The practice often extends into the exclusive private hire and use of a bus to promote a brand or product, appearing at large public events, or touring busy streets. The bus is sometimes staffed by promotions personnel, giving out free gifts. Campaign buses are often specially decorated for a political campaign or other social awareness information campaign, designed to bring a specific message to different areas, or used to transport campaign personnel to local areas/meetings. Exhibition buses are often sent to public events such as fairs and festivals for purposes such as recruitment campaigns, for example by private companies or the armed forces. Complex urban planning proposals may be organised into a mobile exhibition bus for the purposes of public consultation.

Goods transport

In some sparesly populated areas, it's common to use Brucks, buses with a cargo area to transport both passengers and cargo at the same time. They are especially common in the Nordic countries.

Health risks of diesel buses

Diesel powered buses are predicted to lose almost all their market share during the 2020s, [25] in part due to their health risks such as cancer, [26] and many cities are phasing them out in favor of cleaner alternatives such as electric buses. [27] [28]

Around the world

Trailer bus CamelitoLaHavane 01.jpg
Trailer bus

Historically, the types and features of buses have developed according to local needs. Buses were fitted with technology appropriate to the local climate or passenger needs, such as air conditioning in Asia, or cycle mounts on North American buses. The bus types in use around the world where there was little mass production were often sourced second hand from other countries, such as the Malta bus, and buses in use in Africa. Other countries such as Cuba required novel solutions to import restrictions, with the creation of the "camellos" (camel bus), a specially manufactured trailer bus.

After the Second World War, manufacturers in Europe and the Far East, such as Mercedes-Benz buses and Mitsubishi Fuso expanded into other continents influencing the use of buses previously served by local types. Use of buses around the world has also been influenced by colonial associations or political alliances between countries. Several of the Commonwealth nations followed the British lead and sourced buses from British manufacturers, leading to a prevalence of double-decker buses. Several Eastern Bloc countries adopted trolleybus systems, and their manufacturers such as Trolza exported trolleybuses to other friendly states.[ citation needed ] In the 1930s, Italy designed the world's only[ dubious ] triple decker bus for the busy route between Rome and Tivoli that could carry eighty-eight passengers. It was unique not only in being a triple decker but having a separate smoking compartment on the third level. [29]

The buses to be found in countries around the world often reflect the quality of the local road network, with high floor resilient truck-based designs prevalent in several less developed countries where buses are subject to tough operating conditions. Population density also has a major impact, where dense urbanisation such as in Japan and the far east has led to the adoption of high capacity long multi-axle buses, often double-deckers while South America and China are implementing large numbers of articulated buses for bus rapid transit schemes.

Bus expositions

Euro Bus Expo is a trade show, which is held bi-ennially at the UK's National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. As the official show of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the UK's trade association for the bus, coach and light rail industry, the three-day event offers visitors from Europe and beyond the chance to see and experience, at first hand, the very latest vehicles and product and service innovations right across the industry. The next show will be held in November 2016. [30]

Busworld Kortrijk in Kortrijk, Belgium, is the leading bus trade fair in Europe. It is held bi-ennially, last time October 2013 and next time October 2015.

Use of retired buses

Retired GM bus GMBus.jpg
Retired GM bus
Retired bus in Israel used as a tow truck EM-leyland-tow-truck-1.jpg
Retired bus in Israel used as a tow truck

Most public or private buses and coaches, once they have reached the end of their service with one or more operators, are sent to the wrecking yard for breaking up for scrap and spare parts. Some buses, while not economical to keep running as service buses, are often converted in some way for use by the operator, or another user, for purposes other than revenue-earning transport. Much like old cars and trucks, buses often pass through a dealership where they can be bought for a price or at auction.

Bus operators will often find it economical to convert retired buses to use as permanent training buses for driver training, rather than taking a regular service bus out of use. Some large operators also converted retired buses into tow bus vehicles, to act as tow trucks. With the outsourcing of maintenance staff and facilities, the increase in company health and safety regulations, and the increasing curb weights of buses, many operators now contract their towing needs to a professional vehicle recovery company.

Some retired buses have been converted to static or mobile cafés, often using historic buses as a tourist attraction. Food is also provided from a catering bus, in which a bus is converted into a mobile canteen and break room. These are commonly seen at external filming locations to feed the cast and crew, and at other large events to feed staff. Another use is as an emergency vehicle, such as high-capacity ambulance bus or mobile command center.

Some organisations adapt and operate playbuses or learning buses to provide a playground or learning environments to children who might not have access to proper play areas. An ex-London AEC Routemaster bus has been converted to a mobile theatre and catwalk fashion show. [31]

Some buses meet a destructive end by being entered in banger races or at demolition derbys. A larger number of old retired buses have also been converted into mobile holiday homes and campers.

Bus preservation

A preserved AEC Regal VI operated formerly by the MTT in Perth MTT-AECRegalVI-BPSWA.JPG
A preserved AEC Regal VI operated formerly by the MTT in Perth

Rather than being scrapped or converted for other uses, sometimes retired buses are saved for preservation. This can be done by individuals, volunteer preservation groups or charitable trusts, museums, or sometimes by the operators themselves as part of a heritage fleet. These buses often need to undergo a degree of vehicle restoration to restore them to their original condition and will have their livery and other details such as internal notices and rollsigns restored to be authentic to a specific time in the bus's actual history. Some buses that undergo preservation are rescued from a state of great disrepair, but others enter preservation with very little wrong with them. As with other historic vehicles, many preserved buses either in a working or static state form part of the collections of transport museums. Working buses will often be exhibited at rallies and events, and they are also used as charter buses. While many preserved buses are quite old or even vintage, in some cases, relatively new examples of a bus type can enter restoration. In-service examples are still in use by other operators. This often happens when a change in design or operating practice, such as the switch to one person operation or low floor technology, renders some buses redundant while still relatively new.

Modification as railway vehicles

See also

List of Bus manufacturers and brands

Related Research Articles

AEC Routemaster British double-decker bus

The AEC Routemaster is a front-engined double-decker bus that was designed by London Transport and built by the Associated Equipment Company (AEC) and Park Royal Vehicles. The first prototype was completed in September 1954 and the last one was delivered in 1968. The layout of the vehicle was conventional for the time, with a half-cab, front-mounted engine and open rear platform, although the coach version was fitted with rear platform doors. Forward entrance vehicles with platform doors were also produced as was a unique front-entrance prototype with the engine mounted transversely at the rear.

Coach (bus) type of bus for conveying passengers on excursions and on longer-distance intercity coach services

A coach is a bus used for longer-distance service, in contrast to transit buses that are typically used within a single metropolitan region. Often used for intercity—or even international—bus service, other coaches are also used for private charter for various purposes.

Buses in London

The London Bus is one of London's principal icons, the archetypal red rear-entrance AEC Routemaster being recognized worldwide. Although the Routemaster has been phased out of regular service, with only one route still using the vehicles (15H), the majority of buses in London are still red and therefore the red double-decker bus remains a widely recognised symbol of the city.

Double-decker bus Bus with two floors

A double-decker bus is a bus that has two storeys or decks. Double-decker buses are used for mass transport in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and many former European possessions, the most iconic example being the red London bus.

Eastern Scottish

Eastern Scottish was a bus and coach operator based in Edinburgh, Scotland and a subsidiary of the Scottish Bus Group. Eastern Scottish Omnibuses Ltd. was formed in June 1985 from the main part of Scottish Omnibuses Ltd., which had itself traded as 'Eastern Scottish' since the 1960s. Following privatisation in 1990 the company traded as 'SMT' reviving the original name of the company. It operated until 1994, when it became part of GRT Bus Group plc.

West Yorkshire Metro

Metro is the passenger information brand used by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in England. It was formed on 1 April 1974 as the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (WYPTE) at the same time as the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. The Metro brand has been used from the outset, and since the formal abolition of the WYPTE on 1 April 2014, it has been the public facing name of the organisation. The transport authority of West Yorkshire, responsible for setting transport policy, is the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The WYCA is also responsible for delivery of transport policies.

Transit bus bus used on shorter-distance public transport bus services; configurations: low-floor buses, high-floor buses, double-decker buses, articulated buses, midibuses;distinct from all-seated coaches or smaller minibuses for paratransit services

A transit bus is a type of bus used on shorter-distance public transport bus services. Several configurations are used, including low-floor buses, high-floor buses, double-decker buses, articulated buses and midibuses.

Buses in Sydney

Buses account for close to six per cent of trips each day in the Australian city of Sydney, New South Wales, forming a key part of the city's public transport system. The network initially evolved from a privately operated system of feeder services to railway stations in the outer suburbs, and a publicly operated network of bus services introduced to replace trams in the inner suburbs. The bus network has undergone major reform in recent years, with the New South Wales Government taking responsibility for route and fare-setting, opening contracts for most routes up to competitive tendering, and introducing more cross-regional services.

Aldershot & District Traction Company Limited

Aldershot & District Traction Company Limited was a major bus company operating services in East Hampshire, West Surrey and parts of adjoining counties for sixty years during the 20th century, from 1912 until 1972 when it became part of Alder Valley.

Bristol Lodekka low-height double-decker bus

The Bristol Lodekka was a half-cab low-height step-free double-decker bus built by Bristol Commercial Vehicles in England. It was the first production bus design to have no step up from the passenger entrance throughout the lower deck, although Gilford and Leyland Motors had developed low floor city buses in the 1930s, these did not enter production.

Birmingham City Transport was the local authority-owned undertaking that provided road-based public transport in Birmingham, England, between 1899 and 1969. It was locally known as the Corporation Buses. Initially, it was called Birmingham Corporation Tramways, and, after the first motor bus services started in July 1914, it became Birmingham Corporation Tramways and Omnibus in 1928. Finally, in November 1937, it was renamed "Birmingham City Transport", though Birmingham itself had been a City since 1889. It was incorporated into the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in 1969.

Charles H. Roe Bus construction company

Charles H Roe was a Yorkshire coachbuilding company. It was for most of its life based at Crossgates Carriage Works, in Leeds.

Invercargill Passenger Transport

Invercargill Passenger Transport Ltd was a bus company which operated public transport routes in Dunedin and Invercargill as well as school transport services in those cities as well as Queenstown and leisure and tourism transport services throughout the South Island of New Zealand

Bus transport in the United Kingdom

Buses play a major role in the public transport of the United Kingdom, as well as seeing extensive private use. While rail transport has increased over the past twenty years due to road congestion, the same does not apply to buses, which have generally been used less, apart from in London where their use has increased significantly. Bus transport is heavily subsidised, with subsidy accounting for around 45 per cent of operator revenue, especially in London. In 2014/15, there were 5.2 billion bus journeys in the UK, 2.4 billion of which were in London.

Airport bus

An airport bus, or airport shuttle bus or airport shuttle is a bus used to transport people to and from, or within airports. These vehicles will usually be equipped with larger luggage space, and incorporate special branding. They are also commonly painted with bright colours to stand out among other airport vehicles and to be easily seen by the crews of taxiing aircraft when negotiating the aprons.

Bus manufacturing

Bus manufacturing, a sector of the automotive industry, manufactures buses and coaches.

Bus transport in Cardiff

Bus transport in Cardiff, the capital and most populous city in Wales, forms the major part of the city's public transport network, which also includes water, air travel and an urban rail network. Cardiff is a major city of the United Kingdom and a centre of employment, retail, business, government, culture, media, sport and higher education.

Bus preservation in the United Kingdom

In common with cars and trucks, preservation of buses in the United Kingdom is a hobby activity enjoyed by many people, both actively or passively. The active preservation and operation of preserved buses is undertaken by private individuals, organised trusts or societies, and even commercial operators. The preserved bus fleet in the UK includes dating from the earliest pre-war models right up to models manufactured after the year 2000.


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