A bus 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.The first internal combustion engine buses, or motor buses, were used in 1895. 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.
A short-lived early public bus line (known as a “Carriage” at that time) was launched by Blaise Pascal in Paris in 1662 and was quite popular until fares were increased and access to the service was restricted to high society members by regulation. Services ceased after 15 years and no further such services were known until the 1820s.
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. 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.
Max Schiemann opened the world’s first 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 there were a few other methods of current collection. Leeds and Bradford became the first cities to put trolleybuses into service in Great Britain on 20 June 1911.