How Buses Have Changed

Long before there were gasoline diesel powered engines. Before there were steam engines there was a need to move groups of people from one place to another for work or school or other less pleasant things like transporting criminals to prison.

Walking wasn’t efficient because the group could only travel as fast as the slowest person. Horseback wasn’t always practical because of the expense of individual horses and saddles and when it come to transporting young children it just wasn’t very safe. Wagons worked but usually designed with seats for a driver and a helper or two with the back flat and open to carry cargo.

Modified wagons designed to carry prisoners with walls and a roof to prevent escape date back to ancient times and can probably be considered the earliest form of bus since they were designed to transport multiple passengers at the same time.

The First Public Buses

The first public buses of sorts was invented and put into use in Paris in 1662. The bus and the idea of making mass public transportation a profit making business was the idea of French mathematician, philosopher and inventor Blaise Pascal. With financing and a guaranteed monopoly from the French King Louis XIV a bus system was put in place.

The first specially designed wagons that were used for the purpose of transporting groups of children to and from schools was invented in England in the 1820s. It was a horse drawn wagon with a roof to protect the children from the weather. It carried up to 25 students and was used the Quaker school at Abney Park, London.

Modern motorized busses first came into use in the 1910s as a way to efficiently transport workers from one place to another. Student transportation followed soon and when the yellow\orange school bus was born.

The First School Buses

An early builder of motorized school buses was the Thomas Built Bus Company which started out making street cars in 1916. Other early adopters of school bus manufacture include the Blue Bird Body Company which introduced a bus in 1927.

The first truly modern all steel school bus was built in the mid-1930s by Gillig Bros which later became the Gillig Transit Coach School Bus Company. Yellow became the official color for school buses in 1939 when Professor Frank W. Cyr at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College organized a conference that set national standards for school buses.

The need for school buses and buses of all sorts boomed after World War II thanks in large part to the tremendous growth of suburbs across the country. Suburban developments popped up everywhere to house returning soldiers eager to return to civilian life which included getting to and from work and having families full of children that needed to be transported to and from more distant suburban schools.

Over decades since the end of World War II buses of all types have seen great advances in fuel efficiency, capacity and safety. Modern buses are engineering marvels that are not only more efficient and safe but have larger passenger capacities and are far more comfortable than their ancestors.

Everyday countless people enjoy faster safer more fuel efficient trips in a bus than ever before. For more information about finding a bus for sale visit or call 877-277-7253.

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