Bus – from workhorse to thoroughbred

Authored by: Frits Olyslagers , Corinne Mulley , John D. Nelson

The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport

Print publication date:  May  2021
Online publication date:  May  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367418724
eBook ISBN: 9780367816698
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter provides the historical setting of the evolution of the bus as a public transport mode in cities, using the United Kingdom as a particular example. It then continues by looking at how the bus as a mode of transport has developed around the world into the backbone of public transport networks, particularly in cities where there are no rail services, using a number of enablers, including higher-quality vehicles, technology and roadside infrastructure. The path to thoroughbred has been varied and can be classified in a variety of forms, including branded buses, guided buses and bus rapid transit (BRT). This chapter presents an empirical section on the development of BRT in developing countries, revealing the importance of decision-making and design. The chapter conclusions include areas for further research.

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