Meaning of BUS in English

also called Omnibus, any of a class of large self-propelled, wheeled vehicles that are designed to carry passengers, generally on a fixed route. The first bus in operation was probably a steam-driven version that was introduced in 1830 in England. The first bus powered by a gasoline engine was built in Germany in 1895 and could carry eight passengers. Until the 1920s buses consisted of bus bodies mounted on truck chassis. Most school buses continue to be designed and built in this manner. The Fageol Safety Coach Company of Oakland, Calif., U.S., built the first true bus in 1921, with a lower frame, an extra-long wheelbase, wide-tread tires, and a front engine. Four years later the same company built the first integral-frame bus, in which the roof, sides, and floor serve as structural members. Twin engines were mounted under the floor. Transcontinental bus service was initiated in the United States in 1928, and by the end of the next decade buses were common on American highways. In 1931 the diesel engine began to replace gasoline as the chief motive power, and models with rear engines were introduced. Air suspension was first used on buses in 1953 and was soon widely accepted. Its chief advantage was that buses equipped with these systems adjusted automatically to varying loads, which was not possible to do with conventional coil or leaf springs. One of the major developments in bus travel came in 1954 with the introduction of the Scenicruiser for long-distance routes. It had air suspension and six wheels (two singles in the front and four doubles in the rear) for optimum load distribution, and a two-deck arrangement with integral-frame body. Double-decked buses, once popular in New York City, continue to appear in many European cities because of their maneuverability and the relatively small space they occupy in light of the number of passengers they can carry. In large urban areas articulated buses, which pull trailers with flexible joints, are common. Trolley buses, their electric motors supplied with power from overhead wires, are also popular. During the late 20th century some buses were designed with low floorsabout a foot (30 cm) above street levelto facilitate access for elderly and disabled persons, and some were equipped with lifts for wheelchairs. There are four main types of modern buses: city (or transit), suburban, intercity, and school. The city bus is the most specialized vehicle, with low maximum speed, two entrances on one side, provision for a large number of standing passengers, low-back seats, and no luggage space. The suburban bus is a maverick vehicle designed for short intercity runs in heavy traffic but with a single entrance at the front and some luggage space. The intercity bus emphasizes passenger comfort, with no standing room and plenty of luggage space. also called omnibus, any of a class of large, self-propelled, wheeled vehicles that are designed to carry passengers, generally on a fixed route. They were developed at the beginning of the 20th century to compete with streetcars by providing greater route flexibility. The bus was a natural outgrowth of the horse-driven coach. Today buses are defined as vehicles that accommodate more than 10 passengers. Archie H. Easton George C. Cromer Additional reading G.N. Georgano (ed.), The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles (1979), provides an overview. The Truck & Bus Manufacturing Industry: Building the Tools That Move America, 2nd ed. (1983), is a brief survey by the U.S. Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. Terminology is explained in the Society of Automotive Engineers' Truck & Bus Industry Glossary (1988). For more information on buses, see the SAE Historical Committee's paper by Susan Meikle Mandel, Stephen Peter Andrew, and Bernard Ross, A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States (1990). George C. Cromer

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