Means of transport (bus)

Etymology
The name bus is a derivation of 'Omnibus Vehicle' meaning a 'vehicle for all', where omnibus means "for all" in Latin, reflecting the public transport nature of early usages. When motorized transport proved successful after c. 1905, a motorized omnibus was for a time sometimes called an autobus, a term still used in French and other ********s.
History
There are indications of the first bus dating back to 1662,[1] although serious horse drawn public transport bus services were not launched until the 1820s. Early buses were horse drawn vehicles, a combination of the hackney carriage and stagecoach concepts. From the 1830s the steam powered bus also existed. In parallel to the development of the bus, was the invention of the electric trolleybus running under a system of wires, which actually preceded, and in many urban areas outnumbered, the conventional engine powered bus. The first engine powered buses emerged along with development of the automobile. After the first engine powered bus of 1895, models expanded in the 1900s, leading to the widespread introduction of the contemporary recognisable form of full size buses from the 1950s.
Designs
The names of different types of bus vary around the world according to local tradition or marketing, although buses can be classified into basic types based on their general features
General designs


Double-decker bus of Kowloon Motor Bus, Hong Kong.
Since motorisation, the traditional configuration of a bus was an engine in the front and an entrance at the rear. Since the 1960s, with the transition to one man operation, buses in the developed world have taken the form of mid or rear-engined designs, with a single door at the front, or multiple doors, depending on need. 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.
The most common design of bus is a rigid single-decker bus with two axles, or if needed, a second rear axle. The midibus is a lighter and smaller purpose built development of the single deck bus, which emerged in the 1990s. The minibus, originally developed from van conversions, fulfills the lowest capacity needs of buses. Minibuses today are both still derived from vans, or built specifically as minibuses. Where larger capacity is called for, a double-decker bus or the articulated bus may be used, the prevalence of which varies from country to country. A double-decker is a rigid single-decker bus but with an extra upper deck, with the decks joined by a staircase — usually at the front in modern vehicles, but in the rear for historical designs. Larger double-deckers can feature both a front and rear staircase. Articulated buses take the form of single-decker bus with a 'trailer' portion attached. In articulated buses, drive can be through the front or rear section's axles. In modern articulated buses, it is possible to walk between the front and rear sections through an "accordion" joint.
For many new bus fleets, particularly in local transit systems, there is an increasing shift to low-floor buses (see Accessibility). High-floor buses, whose design allows for luggage compartments underneath the passenger seating area, are used for longer-distance intercity travel (see Coaches). The move to the low-floor design has all but eliminated the mid-engined design, although some coaches still have mid mounted engines.
While most bus and coach designs will normally have two axles (or three for articulated buses), buses and coaches may often be fitted with additional axles to accommodate extra length/weight. This is common on three-axle rigid coaches. Often this feature is subject to local vehicle regulations. An uncommon departure from the standard rigid or articulated buses, there also exist limited instances of bi-articulated buses, and passenger-carrying trailers — either towed behind a conventional bus (a bus trailer), or hauled as a trailer by a truck (a trailer bus).
Coaches
Main article: coach (vehicle)


Coaches parked at Chichen Itza, Mexico.
A coach or motorcoach describes a more luxurious version of a bus, designed for more comfortable or longer-distance travel. Coaches can come in the same general configurations as buses, as single- or double-deckers, articulated, or small 'mini-coaches'. Coaches have a higher floor level than buses, to allow for under-floor storage of luggage. The larger coach designs are often heavier and higher powered than the *****alent-sized buses, to allow higher speed motorway or autoroute operation and increased luggage carrying capacity. Coaches do not generally allow for standing passengers, and feature upholstered, high-backed, individual seating. Coaches often contain passenger comforts such reclining seats, hand luggage storage, a toilet, and audio-visual entertainment systems. As a low-cost version of a coach, a bus may be fitted with coach-style, higher-backed, more comfortable seats, termed ‘dual-purposed’ bodywork. These may be used on long-distance public transport services, or as low-cost charter coaches. Increasingly, in some areas, individual, upholstered, coach-style seating, either fully high-backed or standard bus-seat height, is being employed on higher-specification transit buses, sometimes with leather upholstery.
Trolleybuses
Main article: Trolleybus
A trolleybus is essentially an electrically powered bus that is attached to and draws power from overhead lines. The trolleybus can be seen as a branch of, and a parallel development to, the conventional bus, and is exclusively used for public transport (apart from some systems recreated in transport museums). Trolleybuses appeared at nearly the same time as combustion engine powered buses, with a system in Dresden, Germany, in 1901. As with conventional buses, double-deck and articulated versions of the trolleybus have been developed
Accessibility
Increasingly in some countries, buses and coaches are designed with accessibility features, often in response to regulations and recommendations laid out in disability discrimination laws. While such access laws apply to public transport, accessible features are also often adopted by private operators as a customer service differentiator, or due to the accessible designs becoming the market standard for new buses and coaches.
Historically, accessible buses were specially modified standard buses, as mobility buses, produced by post manufacture, or niche manufacturers. Later, many standard bus types have become accessible, although mobility buses are still in production, usually as minibus-size vehicles. Mobility buses can be modified with a side or rear wheelchair lift, additional doors, wider doors, or an extendible access ramp. For standard buses, a major part of accessibility is achieved by the low-floor bus design, although for coaches, accessibility is being achieved through wheelchair lifts due to their higher floor level. Easier access for wheelchairs, pushchairs and the elderly can also be achieved through the use of kneeling air suspension and electrically or hydraulically extended under-floor ramps. Other accessibility features include wide entrances and interior gangways for wheelchairs and baby carriages; brightly colored interior fittings; and clear destination displays to aid the visually impaired.
Alternative power
Since the 1930s, transit operators and researchers have experimented with alternatives to the diesel engine, which is currently the predominant method of powering buses. Technologies that have reached operational usage have included electricity, the hybrid electric engine, compressed natural gas, and bio-diesel. Trials with buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells are underway in several ********s. Experiments with the gyrobus (a vehicle powered by flywheel momentum) have been conducted since the 1940s, but have yet to result in sustained use by any transit operator
Public transport
Main article: Public transport bus service


A local transit bus in Canberra, Australia
Public transport forms the major use of buses and coaches, designed for the transport of the general public as a public service, rather than the private hire or use of buses for transport or other purposes. The use and design of public transport buses varies around the world, and utilises the entire range of bus designs and capacities. The design of buses and coaches is often specialised to a particular type of service. Buses may operated fixed routes, or be used as flexible services. Public buses can be organised in large fleets or as small concerns, and be publicly or privately owned and operated.
The transit bus is the predominant design of public bus, which features specific features to allow use as a public transport vehicle. Transit buses have utilitarian fittings designed for efficient movement of large numbers of people, and often have multiple doors. A dual purpose bus is a transit bus fitted with coach style higher backed more comfortable seats, used on longer distance routes where standing passengers are not likely to be present. Specially adapted mobility buses may be used on specialist services for the transport of passengers with mobility issues (See Accessibility section).


Bi-articulated bus in Curitiba, Brazil.
High capacity bus rapid transit (BRT) services may use the bi-articulated bus, an extension of the articulated bus concept with two trailer sections. BRT schemes (and other uses) may also use tram style buses, which certain bus manufacturers have tried to emulate the tram with modified articulated bus designs, with features such as a ‘pilot’ style driving position and streamlined styling, for example the Wright StreetCar and the Irisbus Civis. 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. Guidance is often, but not exclusively, employed as part of a BRT scheme. 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



Schools
Main article: School bus
In some countries, particularly America, the buses used to transport school children have evolved in to a specific design with specified mandatory features. These 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 that a school bus displays a sign, and may also adopt yellow liveries. School buses are also often older buses cascaded from service use, retro-fitted as a school bus, with more seats and/or seatbelts. School buses 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 to transport associated sports, music or other school groups
Private charter
Due to the costs involved in owning, operating and driving buses and coaches, many bus and coach uses come about from the private hire of vehicles from charter bus companies, either for a day or two, on a longer contract basis, where the charter company provides the vehicles and qualified drivers. Charter bus operators may be completely independent businesses, or charter hire may be a subsidiary business of a public transport operator who 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. 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 ********s, 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)
Promotion


All-over advert bus for Landsbanki in Iceland
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 and/or audio visual devices.
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, and/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.
Not for profit
Many not for profit, social or charitable groups with a regular or semi-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 organisations 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.
Specialist users


A New York police bus converted for use as a command post
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. 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. Many are drawn from retired school or service buses.
Tourism
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 will often carry a tour guide, although the driver or a pre-recorded audio commentary may also perform this function. The tour operator may itself be a subsidiary of a bus operating 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.
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 like 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 Routemaster heritage routes, or the customised buses of Malta, Asia and the Americas
 
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