Portal:Buses

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Buses

An Arriva double-decker bus, running route 102 on the London Buses network.

A bus (archaically also omnibus, multibus, or autobus) is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker rigid bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are used for longer distance services.

Bus manufacturing is increasingly globalised, with the same design appearing around the world.

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

Horse drawn buses were used from 1820, followed by steam buses in the 1830 and electric trolleybuses in 1882. The first buses powered by internal combustion engines were used 1895 and this is still the most common power source. Recently there has been growing interest in hybrid electric buses, fuel cell buses, electric buses as well as ones powered by compressed natural gas or bio-diesel.

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A classic Malta bus

A Malta bus (xarabank, karozza tal-linja) was both the bus used for public transport on the Mediterranean island of Malta, and also a major tourist attraction on the island, due to their unique appearance grounded in the bus ownership and operation model employed on Malta. Prior to 3 July 2011, when the network of service bus routes on the island was taken over by Arriva, Malta had several bus types no longer in service anywhere else in the world.

The unique nature of the Malta bus stemmed from the tradition of local ownership of the buses by the drivers, and their historic practice of customising them. In addition to a high degree of customisation, detailing and decoration, several Malta buses also had a unique appearance due to the practice of in-house maintenance, rebuilding or modifying of bus bodies in local workshops.

As an iconic feature of the island, the classic Malta bus features on several tourist related items. As the main mode of public transport on the island, the Malta bus was also used by many tourists to visit the different parts of the island. While newer Malta buses were progressively introduced that followed modern standard bus designs found elsewhere, customisation and detailing had continued for these buses as well.

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Did you know?

British Trolleybuses - Derby DYK.jpg

  • ... that trolleybuses in Derby (example pictured) last operated in 1967, but there are still five preserved by collectors?
  • ... that MASA, formed in 1959, was the second-largest manufacturer of buses in Mexico when it was acquired in 1998 by Volvo?


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