They are safe, environmentally friendly and tend to feature all manner of exotic smells, particularly on the top deck.
They can be fast, elaborate, expensive and sexy. Strap yourself in and hold on very tight please as we take a spin through some of the planet’s most notable buses.
1. THE BIGGEST
Passenger capacity: 256
Average fare cost: Cheap and plentiful
Many nations have fought over who owns the biggest bus (no, we don’t know why either) with China, Australia and Brazil all staking a claim. But this German behemoth bus must surely take the crown.
The AutoTram Extra Grand features three separate segments and is so bendy that Mayor Boris Johnson can only dream about it. At over 100 feet long, the manufacturers claim this electrically powered monster can be manoeuvred as easily as a normal bus.
A normal GIANT bus.
2. THE FASTEST
Passenger capacity: 1 intrepid driver/complete lunatic
Average fare cost: Free to the brave
Never worry about being late for class ever again. Speed freak Paul Stender from Indianapolis fitted a classic yellow school bus with a Phantom fighter jet engine and created the world’s fastest.
Capable of reaching a top speed of 367mph, we wouldn’t advise ‘hopping off when it’s going a bit slower’ as you may be parted from your lower legs.
3. THE MOST SCI-FI
Passenger capacity: 1400
Average fare cost: Some crazy space currency, such as 10 Zellbrox
China is leading the way in bus design worthy of Star Trek with the 3D Express Coach (we’d would hope all buses were 3D in some way, or else they would be quite tricky to board).
This ‘flying’ or ‘straddling’ bus was recently unveiled in Beijing and hopes to be a solution to the city’s insanely awful traffic jam problem.
Buses are taken out of the busy road equation altogether and by run above all the other traffic on rails.
4. THE SEXIEST
Passenger capacity: 20 dancers, 20 patrons, 1 driver
Average fare cost: The longer you stay, the more it costs
Perfect if you are feeling frisky but you’re too lazy to actually go anywhere. Why not let the scantily clad dancing ladies come to you? Detroit’s Booty Lounge is an old bus converted into a rolling pleasure venue.
Rather than the traditional, non-mobile strip club, which is housed in a boring old building, this one will come and stop by. And possibly drop you at Asda when you are done.
If you’re nice to the driver.
5. THE MOST CONFUSING
Passenger capacity: 20 right side up, 20 upside down
Average fare cost: Right side up $1.50, upside down 75¢
Yet another classic American yellow school bus gets dismembered beyond recognition with this rolling piece of political art. The Topsy Turvey Bus is a statement about the US’s confusing budget policy put together by Tom Kennedy and a group of fellow artists.
While it’s trying to make an important point about an unfair society, most people just point and comment, ‘look at that dang crazy bus’.
6. MOST PLUSH
Passenger capacity: One small, rich family
Average fare cost: $2.5 million
Most people, if they suddenly come into money or win the lottery, vow that their first privileged action will be to never step foot on a bus ever again.
More fun would be to drive alongside the bus that used to take you to your low paid job in this Vantare Platinum Plus, the most expensive and swanky luxury coach ever created.
Featuring rare marble, Italian leather, Swarovski crystal, Correggio fabric and specially commissioned works of art, it lives up to its $2.5 million price tag, but the gloating levels are priceless.
7. MOST HARD WORK
Passenger capacity: 32
Average fare cost: Students, so not much
What with the oil running out, solar power being rubbish and still no sign of jetpacks, we need to think up some alternative transportation methods. Students at the Eindhoven University of Technology designed and built this ‘bike bus’ on which 32 ‘passengers’ pedal furiously to shift this two-ton beast.
Probably best to take it when you have shower facilities available at whatever destination you are traveling towards.
Although, it could be a novel way of solving out the obesity problem.
8. MOST AWESOME
Passenger capacity: 60
Average fare cost: Something in francs, spacefrancs.
Oh the good old days. When men were men and vehicles had big glass domes, fins and large bulges for no reason at all.
This has to be the most insane and, at the same time, most magnificent bus ever created. Built in the 1950s, but looking like it should be from the 2050s, the Citroen U55 Cityrama Currus was a Paris sightseeing vehicle, designed to show people around the City of Love in the most memorable way possible.
All curves and glass and stylishness, it’s the bus equivalent of the LBD or the Champagne flute.
In other words, a design classic.