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This article is about the form of transport. See computer bus or electrical bus for the use of the term in computing and electronics respectively.

A bus is a large wheeled vehicle, intended to carry numerous persons in addition to the driver. The name is a shortened version of omnibus. Historically there were buses before the advent of motor-cars. Horse-drawn buses were common before 1840 in London, Paris, and probably in many other cities. Early in the 20th century a motorized bus was sometimes called an autobus.

A bus

Table of contents
1 Types
2 Manufacturers
3 Plural
4 See also
5 External links


Many variations of buses exist. A normal tourist bus carries about fifty passengers and their luggage, and may be considered the standard bus for long-distance travel. In the United Kingdom it is usual to call such a vehicle a coach.

In buses meant for public transport, luggage space is often sacrificed in order to increase passenger volume, although the exterior is only slightly smaller than that of a tourist bus. Public transportation buses may carry more than one hundred persons if standing passengers are allowed. In western industrialized nations such buses are usually only used for routes within cities or towns, but in some other nations are also used for long inter-city routes.

In some nations of Latin America buses are very important as a primary means of transport and trade within the country.

The double decker is a bus designed in two stories, in order to haul more passengers. Originally employed as a part of the London public transport system, in a distinctive red colour, they now see use all over the world. London's Routemaster, which has been in service since the early 1960s, is an open platform bus that requires a conductor.

Special sightseeing buses are variations of the tourist bus or the double decker and are generally constructed with large windows and/or an open top deck offering the best possible vantage point from inside a vehicle.

Jointed, or articulated buses are yet another permutation for increasing passenger load. Almost singularly found in public transportation use, these buses are so long that they would not ordinarily fit in city traffic. To make them nimble enough, they have been fitted with an extra pair of wheels and a flexible joint (usually located slightly behind the midpoint of the bus, behind the second wheel pair). Some buses have two flexible joints, they are bi-articulated.

Some rare combinations between double decker and jointed buses exist, but are not in common use.

Ultra low floor buses were developed towards the end of the 20th century and can increasingly be found all over the world.

Minibuses are smaller than the ordinary tourist or public transport bus, intended to carry from (about) eight to twenty passengers. Due to smaller size they are often used on routes with few passengers or on lines where the density of departures is very high.

An electric trolleybus is a bus with electric propulsion from overhead wires.

Guided Buses are steered for part or all of their route by a track or rail.

As part of public transport, the schedules of buses often cannot be as well maintained as those of other public transport systems, because buses share the same roads as common traffic. Some cities have tried to counter this by instituting special "bus lanes", where only public transport buses may travel. Sometimes they may also be used by taxiss, bicycles or motorcycles. Some cities have tidal bus lanes, which only operate during rush hour. Other cities have incorporated busways, which are essentially bus systems that run on special rights-of-way; this is a form of bus rapid transit.

Some buses are termed shuttles, after the shuttle of weaving, because they operate on a fixed route to take passengers back and forth between two terminals.

A neighborhood bus is (at least in the Netherlands, buurtbus) a complementary public transport service with minibus by volunteer drivers in rural areas, where regular public transport is not feasible.

A school bus transports children between their homes and school. In the US a busing system is used to achieve racial desegregation (children do not necessarily go to the nearest school, but to such a school that there is an appropriate racial mix).


Some manufacturers of buses or bus parts:

Some metropolitan bus systems in the United States are:


The usual plural of bus is "buses". "Busses" is sometimes used, but is also the plural of "buss", a dialectal word for "kiss" or a type of boat.

See also

Bus stop.

External links