Rail replacement bus service
A rail replacement bus service uses buses to replace a passenger train service either on a temporary or permanent basis. The train service that is replaced may be of any type such as light rail, tram, streetcar, commuter rail, regional rail or heavy rail, intercity passenger service. The rail service may be replaced if the line is closed due to rail maintenance, a breakdown of a train, a rail accident, strike action, or if the rail service is not economically viable.
Terms for a rail replacement bus service include bustitution (a portmanteau of the words "bus" and "substitution", may also be bustitute) and bus bridge. Substitution of rail services by buses can be unpopular and subject to criticism, so the term bustitution is often used pejoratively.
When train services operated by Transdev in Auckland train services are sometimes replaced by a bus, the resulting service is called Rail Bus. Historically, New Zealand Railways Road Services replaced many train routes with buses.
During the British Railways Board's railway rationalisation in the 1960s, known as the Beeching Axe, bus substitution was an official policy for replacing train services on closed lines. This policy was largely unsuccessful, however, as the bus services were usually far slower than the train services they replaced, causing many passengers to give up on public transport altogether.
Rail-replacement bus services are common among urban rail transit systems, mainly due to unexpected service disruptions. For example, the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York, the New York City Subway required replacement bus service when subway lines were closed for repairs, which happens also because of regularly scheduled maintenance: the subway runs 24/7/365, so interruptions in subway service require replacement bus service, even during off-peak hours.
Planning rail-replacement services in a high-patronage environment, such as a high-capacity rapid transit network, requires efficient use and management of time and resources in order to prevent major travel disruptions. This was exemplified by a July 2015 shutdown on the Toronto subway during rush hour caused by a communication system breakdown, in which the local transit operator opted not to use replacement buses as "it wasn't possible to replace the entire subway's capacity with buses".
- Abandonment of public transportation systems
- Beeching Axe
- Bus rapid transit
- Effects of the automobile on societies
- FTR (bus) a British Bus rapid transit proposal
- Great American streetcar scandal
- Oh, Doctor Beeching! a 1990s television situation comedy series set in the 1960s
- Rail trail
- SELRAP - Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership a British rail transit advocacy group trying to undo bustitution
- "Slow Train" a song about railway station closures in Britain the 1960s
- Thruway Motorcoach
- Transport economics
- Via Rail: Fourth round of cuts a 2003 Canadian political conflict of interest controversy
- "Definition of bustitution". Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
- 'Limited MTA service backj Thursday' on New York Daily News website, viewed 2013-07-09
- An example appears in a 2009 editorial. See: Parker, Christopher (January 19, 2009). "Statement on the bustitution of the Ethan Allen Express". Vermont Rail Action Network. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Weyrich, Paul M. and William S. Lind (May 1999). "Does Transit Work? A Conservative Reappraisal" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
- "BUSTITUTION OVER XMAS". Media Release – Newsletter. Action for Public Transport (New South Wales). 1993 (1). February 1993. ISSN 0155-8234. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- An example from an Australian discussion board appears at: "Railpage Australia Thread review – RANT Velolia bustitution services suck.". Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- Another example from Australia appears at: "Southern Highlands bustitution observations". March 2, 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- 'How to use a railbus' on Auckland Transport website, viewed 2013-07-07
- Henshaw, David (1994). The Great Railway Conspiracy. ISBN 0-948135-48-4.
- An example from Milwaukee, Wisconsin may be seen in a picture caption at: "Motor Coaches of The Brew City". Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Newark PCC 27 Arrives at the Museum". Shoreline Trolley Museum. October 14, 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Thruway Motorcoach Service and Accessibility". Amtrak. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "Toronto subway shutdown causes early-morning commuter chaos". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 8, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2016.