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Updated on April 15, 2011



The bus is a vehicle propelled exclusively carrying people and their personal luggage. The term is composed of two parts: a "bus", from Latin omnibus = for all "(itself a contraction of voiture omnibus =" Vehicle for all "in French) and the prefix" self "in his time of contraction car. Today is also briefly described only as a bus. Germany is defined as legally Kraftomnibus (KOM).


In 1827 the bus was invented in England by steam. The first liner to pull fuel was inaugurated March 18, 1895 between Siegen and Netphen and was managed by Netphener Omnibusgesellschaft. For the year the line was used as a vehicle by Landauer, who actually had more similarities with the carriage of the same name with a modern bus. The first bus of the world was built by hand from 1895, so even a year before the first truck, farm family of automobile pioneer Carl Benz and also had eight seats and an engine of 5 horses. His average speed was 15 km / h, so that you can travel the road between Siegen and Nephten in 1 hour and 20 minutes. The trip cost the figure, for the parameters so hateful of 70 pfennig. For the limited manageability of the first bus operation of the Benz bus in the territory of Siegen was, however, again stopped before the end of the year. Despite this blow arose in the following years worldwide connections to more and more thanks to the continuous improvement of new vehicle standards.


In the '60s began in Germany unification of the types of buses through the Verband öffentlicher Verkehrsbetriebe (VOV), in collaboration with some transport companies have developed prototypes for standard buses, which were then adapted by various manufacturers. The first prototype of the VOV has led since 1968, for example, the production of 'O 305 MB of Daimler-Benz (1969), the Magirus-Deutz 170S11H (1967), the Büssing 110V (1967), the SL 200 MAN AG (1971) and to 'Ikarus 190 (1973).


The VOV II as the successor of the VOV I had as a goal of evolution and therefore also a low floor height of the lower slope. S80 from the prototypes tested between 1976 and 1978 have been developed for example Auwärter Neoplan N416, the Mercedes-Benz O 405 and MAN SL 202. With the "VOV III" was developed a low-floor buses, which formed the basis for the Neoplan N4014NF for example, the O 405 N Mercedes-Benz, for MAN and IVECO CityClass NL 202. In recent years it has been revived the notion of a guided bus. Developments such as the Civis Irisbus Iveco-developed at the French subsidiary of TVR (Bombardier) or Caen 's AutoTram the Fraunhofer-Institut which are hybrid vehicles that outwardly look like trams but running on rubber tires, and that through different systems can be automatically guided on a path that led you there.


Traction is generated mostly by diesel engine or, in some countries by natural gas or LPG engine. There are also buses to electric drive (electric motor only) or hybrid (with electric motor in series or parallel with a diesel / gas engine), but only in vehicles produced in small series or prototypes. In particular, the hybrid drive is having a good increase in recent years, especially the United States despite being born in the early 90's in Europe and particularly in Italy. Where the electric motor is powered from the mains by air via a pantograph or trolley, as happens for the trams instead of buses, one should speak of "trolley". The traction engine with hydrogen using fuel cells is currently being tested around the world. The hydrogen bus has been promoted in Europe through the project Clean Urban Transport for Europe project (CUTE). A prototype hydrogen-powered Iveco CityClass still circulates in Turin while the Mercedes has produced several prototypes of hydrogen-powered Citaro. Scania AB still produces buses powered by ethanol, fuel from natural sources.

In major cities of Italy in the '40s, have moved gas buses "poor" gasogene obtained by a wood or pellet. Traction is generally carried out by the rear wheels (rear wheel drive) or, in the case of vehicles derived from the front wheels (front drive). The way it is holding the tension is closely related to the positioning of the engine which in the case of rear-wheel drive is usually located on the rear overhang of the vehicle, part of the vehicle behind the rear wheels. The rear-wheel drive is typical of bus bodies for only designed to be mounted on a chassis or components to be used for personal transportation. In the case of front-wheel drive motor is generally located on the front overhang of the vehicle front wheels. The front-wheel drive is typical of bus designed from the chassis for trucks which are made some changes to fit the carriage of passengers. More correctly in these cases is to talk about a front-engine buses, and these types of buses in the international jargon are defined generally as "minibus" even if they reach dimensions of over 7 meters.

The buses with front engine and rear wheel drive shaft are widespread and are mostly the majority of passenger vehicles used in countries with low growth rate because of their low cost and their durability. The front-engined buses make up the majority of vehicles in Europe and in countries with normal growth rate only in small vehicles from 6 to 7 meters.


Buses, in principle, are substantially more light trucks of similar size, so that in the coaches are often sufficient traction with 6-speed gearbox, in most cases with some form of change in the socket and / or a clutch Automatic. In the city buses are currently used automatic traction in progressive change, as this provides an automatic comfort without tears or bumps, the better for standing passengers. In Germany, for buses, exists in theory, a speed restriction of 80 km / h, which is restricted or through a reduction in mechanical or electrical device (such as an automatic adjustment or a screw under the gas pedal) however, are usually granted special exemptions for inter-vehicles.

If the loaded mass of the bus is longer than 8 tons, the bus can not exceed 100 km / h on motorways and 80 km / h on main and secondary rural roads. For the construction of the body there are two concepts: The construction system consists of a classic monocoque body length including the motor apparatus with wheels and braking system. For this building is located within the space travelers. Some minibuses and coaches of some producers are composed of self-supporting body such as the construction of cars. The chassis of the coach or suburban often attack a one-wheel front axle. The rear axle is usually hard. Buses have front and rear axle drives.

There are attempts to unify the advantages of buses (less infrastructure) and the benefits of the tram (comfort, capacity). This is especially true in France, where they circulate several systems that combine the advantages of both bus and tramway. At the same time there are similar systems developed in Germany and are being tested in Italy. One example is the Irisbus Civis: A tram road with optical guidance.

In Italian legislation, a bus can have a maximum length of 13.5 meters if two axles, or 15 meters if 3 or more axles, the maximum width allowed is 2.55 meters and height of 4 meters, the 'height can reach 4.3 meters if the bus is in urban or suburban service on a fixed route. A bus with 2 axles can weigh up to 18 tonnes (whether in urban or suburban service line can be up to 19 tons), three-axis can weigh up to 25 tons, but if you have the drive axle with twin tires and air suspension can reach 26 tonnes and 32 tonnes in case you have 4 or more axles and axle with dual wheels and air suspension.


Standard high-floor buses for urban low-floor urban buses for urban services, created to allow easy access to the disabled through a hydraulic platform for intercity bus service regional intercity bus service for inter-Minibus (eg Thumb model) for the traffic if dictated by necessity due to lack of space, especially in mountainous areas or in town centers articulated buses (buses) to transport a greater number of passengers double decker bus for city traffic and long distance coach for Lines GT Road Trains and Auto-Tram.

City buses have fewer seats and are generally less comfortable, so I'm equipped with the proper supports for standing passengers as well as multi-purpose space (for wheelchairs and strollers). For lines with a large influx of passengers will be used buses or double decker bus. A known type is the Neoplan Jumbocruiser. There are also double-articulated buses, these measures have started their operation in a fixed line for the first time in Aachen. The larger bus, including all articulated vehicles generally have three axes. In the rear axle rigid vehicles is simply doubled, in this case is generally the last axle steering, articulated vehicles in the median axis is positioned prior to the joint, the rear axle is the axis of traction.

Modern low floor buses are often equipped with a facility for wheelchair passengers to climb thanks to a kneeling side tire (kneeling) and a special ramp that can be realized electrically controlled by the driver, or handling Manual (platforms flap). For high-floor buses (tourist buses) may be provided for the presence of a device for raising passenger wheelchair lift built with electro-hydraulic control. Since 2007 Italian law that prohibits buses in the new command of the ramp or lift can be operated from the driver's seat to avoid any accidents caused by the release of same, and then the command to the drive must be adjacent to the platform.


In the thirties, the buses were common in the saddle, such as the SS Büssing type and type DS. Today's bus seat to survive as a means of local public transport, type of evolution in the Cuban capital of Havana own. To their form of construction, with the area of slope downwards to the center of the passenger, are called Camello (Camel).

At the beginning of the technique provided buses built vehicles with front engine (eg, Mercedes-Benz O 3500 fifties, 6-cylinder engine with 90 horsepower) and there were open vehicles. The Büssing buses built in the sixties to one and a half. In the 50s were common in Germany unique models of amphibious bus "on road and rail," the Schienen-Straßen-Omnibus, which could move both on road and rail sections.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi there, it is great to read your article. One thing i would like to ask, where is information come from? i am doing a research on bus.

    • profile image

      Ashok Kalsi 

      7 years ago

      Dear Readers ,

      Greeting !

      It was a wonderful ' Busworld ' - 2011 show in Shanghai , China . Excellent buses / coaches with latest

      technology were launched which is a good sign of growth

      in bus technology and business.

      Thanks and best wishes !!!

      Regarsd ,


      + 91-09357231310


    • profile image

      Ashok Kalsi 

      7 years ago

      Being a bus designer I appreciate by heart the growth in bus technology with safety, comfort and overall life of the buses.

    • stars439 profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      It would be nice if busses were made with bathrooms. GBY


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