Coach (scheduled transport)

Coach (scheduled transport)
Double-decker Neoplans operating the Oxford to London coach route

Coach scheduled transport is a mode of public transport by motor coach which is used in many countries around the world for longer distance journeys. Coaches are popular in countries which don't have trains as main form of long-distance transport or as a more flexible or cheaper alternative.


Coach transport in various countries

North American

Urban-suburban bus line

Urban-suburban bus line is generally categorized as public transit, especially for large metropolitan transit networks. Usually these routes cover a long distance compared to most transit bus routes, but still short — usually 40 miles in one direction. An urban-suburban bus line generally connects a suburban area to the downtown core.

The vehicle can be something as simple as a merely refitted school bus (which sometimes already contains overhead storage racks) or a minibus. Often a suburban coach may be used, which is a standard transit bus modified to have some of the functionality of an interstate coach. An example would be the Suburban line employed by TransLink (Vancouver), typically going from the downtown core to suburban cities such as Delta and White Rock. In such case, the vehicles are modified standard transit bus, but with only one door and air conditioning. The vehicles provide accommodation for the disabled (through a lift or ramp at the front), and thus has a few high-back seats, usually in the front, that can be folded up for wheelchairs. The rest of the seats are reclining upholstered seats and have individual lights and overhead storage bins. Because it is a commuter bus, it has some (but not much) standing room, stop-request devices, and a farebox. This model also has a bike rack at the front to accommodate two bicycles.

Some lines use a full-size interstate coach with on board toilet, such as the "TrainBus" service of West Coast Express. Suburban models in the United States are often used in Park-and-Ride services, and are very common in the New York City area, where New Jersey Transit Bus Operations is a major operator serving widespread bedroom communities.

In terms of services, buses may run less frequently, and service fewer stops. One common arrangement is to have a few stops at the beginning of the trip, and a few near the end, since the majority of the trip is spent on a highway. Some stops may have service restrictions, such as ones that are boarding only and others which are discharge only. Some routes may only have scheduled trips in the morning, heading to the urban core, with other trips in the evening, heading toward suburbs only. They may also be used to supplement another service, as in Vancouver's West Coast Express' TrainBus, which runs when the commuter train is not in service.

United Kingdom

Scheduled coach transport services have been operating since the early 1900s (as distinct from earlier horse drawn Stagecoach services and from shorter distance Bus transport in the United Kingdom). Services grew rapidly in the 1920s and were then regulated by the Road Traffic Act 1930 and deregulated by the Transport Act 1980. National Express Coaches has operated services under that name since 1972. Megabus started in 2004 and Greyhound UK in 2009. There are also many other operators. Receipts in 2004 were £1.8 billion (2008 prices) and grew significantly between 1980 and 2010.

See also


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