Wednesday, 29 July 2009

B is for...


Bus

Bus: Vehicle fitted with more than 8 seats, not including the driver.

Well, I had to enter this one! How could I not? After all, I drive a bus for a living. It is the way I make my money. It is the way I see all those fantastic places and meet all those great (and not so great) people.

Early buses were horse-drawn and seated only small numbers of people. In the 1830's steam-powered buses arrived on the scene. And with the arrival of electricity trolley buses were invented (a combination of an ordinary bus and a tram or train. It ran on the road, but followed the powerlines). It wasn't until the late 19th century that the first diesel-powered bus arrived on the roads, but from then on, it definitely took off.

The bus is still the most widely used form of public transport IN THE WORLD. Many places are only serviced by buses, because of a variety of reasons, like mountains being in the way or not enough passengers to maintain a train-service.


A 1964 Setra

From the fifties onwards, tourbuses (coaches (GB), autocars (F), pullman (I), touringcars (NL)) became more popular. The war was over in Europe, rationing was a thing of the past and people had more and more money to spend. Visiting other places became easier and the tourbus was the preferred mode of transport, also because cars weren't around that much yet.

The tourbus is still going strong. On board toilets, fridges, bars, video (dvd) and even beds, make life easier for the passenger. You can relax, look out, chat, sleep, watch tv and all without the fear of being pulled over for being a 'dangerous driver'. Why not give it a go sometime?

And if you ever see me? Blonde, black cap (usually) and in uniform, driving the big xx-coach, why not come over and say hi! I will show you my bus...

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8 comments:

  1. It had to be "Bus". I had never seen a Setra Bus. It looks really cool.

    An Arkies Musings

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  2. Now I have Magic Bus by the Who stuck in my head!

    WV; happiall

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  3. Of course it had to be bus!

    Love the 1964 Setra - it looks older than that! It's beautiful.

    When I was a child in London we had trolley buses. I took one to get to the dentist, or to go to a park sometimes. I remember how the contacts sparked and crackled!

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  4. I was hoping you would post a picture of your bus!
    Thanks for the history. In my city we only have busses for mass transit.
    Sherry

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  5. @Richies: there are some buses 'native' to Europe and Setra is one of them. It's a German made bus and considered the 'Rolls Royce' of all buses.

    @Roger Owen Green: so sorry...

    @Jay: There is one town still in the Netherlands with trolley buses: Arnhem (of the 'Bridge too far' fame).

    @Lisaschaos: I saw it on the motorway first and was sorry it was going the other way. Then the next day I saw it again: parked in the same parking lot my bus was...

    @Q: I've started to really love buses, although I couldn't recognize most of them, I'm not that much of a bus-spotter!

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  6. I hope I happen to be on your bus some day :-)

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  7. I drove a bus once from my church parking lot to the gas station. It was so fun!

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Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!