Travel back to the world’s first bus service

 In Bus Travel, Citiliner

Today, taking the bus to work is a no-brainer, yet have you ever thought of what the first service was like? How did people get around and how was the first bus invented? It must’ve been a massive issue for people to get around with their luggage as opposed to our means of travel.

Since it is the start of a new year, Citiliner thought it would be a good idea to take their passengers back in time all the way to the world’s first public transportation service. So climb on board the Greyhound time machine.

A bus with horse power

You’ll get the pun in a moment. See, in the time when most everyone wore a suit on a daily basis and the industrial age was kicking off, they had to come up with a means to transport a larger group of people.

A person named Baudry figured it would be cheaper if they could pull this off (again, pardon the pun).  So Baudry built a carriage and gathered a couple of strong horses to pull it, hence the horse power. He set a specific travel route where people could get on and off at different times. He named the carriages, voiture omnibus. This all happened at around 1823.

Steaming ahead

At this point, a large number of bus services were running and in 1873 they were gradually replaced by tramways. England started a service with steam-powered buses in the 1830s. They decided that the roads were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation and during 1833, they invented the first mechanically propelled omnibus.

Of course these steam carriages ran at a faster speed and were less likely to overturn. They were cheaper to run as well.

It was only as little back as 1906 when these busses were replaced by the omnibus automobile or, in simpler terms, the motor bus. In 1913 there were only one horse drawn omnibus still running.

The Trolleybus – a short lived journey

The Siemens brothers, William and Ernst Werner worked together in developing the electric trolleybus which ran through trolley poles by overhead wires. Sir William proposed the idea in 1881 and although they have managed to get it running, the service was stopped in the same year after the big demonstration.

Motor buses

In 1895, Daimler produced the earliest motor-bus model, a double-decker bus to run on the streets of London. Being a double-decker one would think that there is more space to fit more passengers. On the contrary, the bus ran at a speed of 18kph and could only accommodate 20 passengers. Nonetheless, the buses were a huge success and Daimler expanded.

All the way to Citiliner

With Citiliner, you travel in style and luxury. No horses galloping and rocking the carriage. Our service covers all major cities within South Africa including Harare, Mozambique and many more routes. We now carry over 1.4 million passengers yearly.

Make the smart choice and travel in style to your destination. Click here to see our route map and timetables.

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