Bus Fun Facts

Buses have been around for a long time and changed a lot over the course of the years. Science For Kids gathered some great fun facts about buses.


The History of the Bus

Buses have been around for quite some time. They have come a long way since their introduction. Check out the history of the bus.

  • 1662 – Blaise Pascal introduced the first horse-drawn bus in Paris. However, due to high ticket prices, it only operated for 15 years.
  • 1812 – After a huge gap, the horse-drawn bus made its appearance once again. These were a cross between a carriage and stagecoach. People even rode on the roofs of these early buses. It was also at this time that the bus got its name. It derived its name from Latin (Omnibus) meaning “for all.”
  • The 1830s – steam-engine powered buses began to operate. In this same time period, the electric trolley bus was invented. These traveled by the use of overhead cables.
  • 1895 – the first internal combustion engine bus was invented.
    Today – buses have developed into a safe, affordable and convenient way to travel.

It’s All About the Yellow

Have you ever wondered why the school bus is either yellow or orange? These facts may surprise you.

Yellow is an attention-grabbing color. In fact, studies show that people notice the color yellow over all the other colors.

Humans can detect yellow even from the corner of their eyes. Scientists have discovered yellow is 1.24 times greater for catching our eye, even over red.
The color yellow is easier to detect in dim light or bad weather.
Because of these reasons, all school buses in the US must be yellow.

Why Are There No Seat Belts?

You are probably always told by the driver of the vehicle to “buckle up!” So why then do buses not have seat belts?

Starting back in the 1970s, government officials took a hard look at the school buses’ design. They decided for the safety of all children, they would take the “passive protection” route. This means, no seat belts. However, don’t worry, they also decided on a safer design.

It’s all in the seats. Bus seats are designed with high padded backs and seats, padded rails and stanchions (strong, upright poles). In addition, the seats are a specific distance apart for optimal safety. Plus, (what you hope will never see) they are designed for a certain rate of collapse in case of a crash. Even the size of the windows has all been taken into consideration. These are designed to protect you from being ejected through one if the bus were ever in an accident.

Did you know…

  • before the 1920s buses used cloth curtains instead of glass windows?
  • school-bus-yellow has been compared to the color of mangoes?
  • school buses are now all equipped with stop signs that pop open when they stop. This warns drivers to stay put while children are boarding of off-loading.
  • in the 1930s truck designs were being modified to make school buses?
  • Does London have the longest, unchanged bus route? It started in 1910 and runs from Hampstead Heath to Pimlico
  • the largest bus in the world holds 300 passengers? It is in China and is 24 meters long (82 feet); normal buses are around 19 meters in length (64 feet). This bus had to be designed with three separate sections in order to turn corners.

    Who knew that buses have such a rich history? Are you ready to invest in your very own bus? The experts at American Bus Sales can help you figure out which bus is right for you.