In any city, the public transport par excellence is the bus. Known in different ways (bus, bus, gondola, bus, bus, among others), this means of transportation has existed since the 17th century and is still essential today.
Of course, like any other vehicle, the bus has evolved to the versions we know today, and which are now more ecological. However, it all started in Paris, France in 1662.

The first version of this transport had nothing to do with what we know today, and rather it was considered very uncomfortable and, moreover, expensive. This line consisted of a kind of carriage pulled by horses and it worked until 1677. However, the idea did not end there.



Although the tram was invented in 1775, it did not become as popular. It was 50 years later, in 1825, that another predecessor of the modern bus appeared and it was a complete success. Colonel Stanislas Baudry’s bus, which was created in Nantes (France) and later reached large cities such as New York and London.

Baudry’s idea arose when he wanted to make his thermal baths business more accessible to the public and he came up with the idea of creating a people transportation system that started from the city center xxx porno, inspired by the old stagecoaches.


Sooner than later, the colonel realized that the transport was used by more people than those who went to his business and decided to expand it. He founded the Entreprise Générale des Ómnibus, which had its terminal in front of the most popular stores in the city.

The word “bus” comes from the Latin phrase “Omnes omnibus”, that is, “there is everything for everyone”, which was the slogan of the new vehicle. Although this invention was very revolutionary, it was still a step away from reaching the bus.



In 1831, Englishman Walter Hancock invented the bus. The main difference was that this one had a steam engine and therefore did not need horses to move. However, it was first known as the “Infant”.

The first bus line covered the London City Line and the City of Stratford. Six decades later came the gasoline engine, which was the work of the German company Benz (Karl Benz). His first trip was on March 18, 1895.

The model, which only allowed six seats plus the driver, improved over the years. In 1920, with the four-cylinder engines, new models appeared that tried to make better use of space until the O 6600 H model was launched in 1961, which is very similar to today’s buses.




It is true that electric cars have become fashionable in this century, however, the experimentation dates from much earlier. In Berlin, the Aboag company experimented in 1898 with the first electric buses. However, this energy was a failure.

Another of the pioneers in this field was the Spanish Emilio de la Cuadra and his General Car Company. In the end he did not achieve his goal, and adopted the internal combustion engine devised by the Swiss Marc Birkigt.

Despite the fact that the appearance of the metro (subway) in 1863 threatened the use of the bus, this means of transport continues to be essential. And, little by little, they are using cleaner alternative energies, such as natural gas, methane, hydrogen and electricity.


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From Main Roads to Mixed-Use Streets

Turning over a wobbly table.

I feel that the Artists conference will be looked back upon as a landmark event in the movement known as “new urbanism”. Seldom can I have been so richly entertained but it is the new insights into other professional worlds that I will most treasure. Chief amongst these was Phil Jones’ presentation “Research Challenges”. Phil put the engineering and road safety professions on the table and under the spotlight and after twenty minutes the table was decidedly wobbly. He introduced us to the engineer’s raison de etre. Engineers identify a failure mode. They predict its occurrence with a mathematical model and then apply a factor of safety. Next they choose design values and monitor their introduction. Finally they refine the model after catastrophe. In the case of highways their concerns are with structural failure, traffic congestion or road accidents. But there are other failure modes of the highway too, ones that aren’t considered: the visual, emotional or social impact and its contribution to physical or mental health.

Their design values contain underlying assumptions about the importance of certain geometric parameters: horizontal and vertical radii, superelevation, lane width, stopping sight distance and visibility splays. Many of these assumptions are now open to challenge from professionals and not just those of us who daily struggle to cross busy junctions. Take stopping distances for example. The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges provides values related to the speed of vehicles but with an allowance for the reaction time for the driver. Sensible standards it might be thought until Phil showed us that every country had a different stopping distance.

Crest curves are apparently decided by the case of the dead dog, in other words the ability of a driver to execute an avoidance manoeuvre upon encountering an object. Originally this was set at 4 inches (100mm) but as car heights became lower crest curves needed to be longer until the construction industry argued that this would be too expensive consequently without any reference to actual crash causation the height was arbitrarily raised to 6 inches (150mm).

Ok, but what about the visibility requirement at junctions. The set back for the minor road is required to be 9m desirably, 4.5m in difficult circumstances and 2.4m in exceptionally difficult circumstances. But the Transport Research Laboratory found for urban T junctions there was no correlation between horizontal lines of sight and accidents. In fact the real danger appears to stem from traffic speeding towards the junction precisely because it has a good line of sight.

The subjectivity follows through into the road safety audit too. The audit is based upon experience, design engineers are barred from the process, its non-reproducible, it’s a problem/recommendation model, there is no quantification of risk, it provides no means of assessing innovative  designs and no factual basis for striking the right balance. As the figures are challenged it all starts to look like a black art. One for the authors of the forthcoming Streets Manual to sort out – I just hope that they talk to Phil Jones for the real world research and Living Streets for a more human centred approach.

Giving Walking the Va Va Voom

This was the challenge set for Living Streets Director Tom Franklin when he spoke at a conference of tranport communications professionals yesterday. He pointed that in the United States – as this picture shows – up to 80% of new developments don’t include pavements, making walking a virtual impossibility. In the UK, we need to make walking the easy, attractive, and appealing option.

In his presentation, Tom argued that the transport ‘industry’ was too focused upon increasing travel for the sake of it. In future, transport planners would need to focus more upon taming taffic and weaning people away from their cars. He also made a plea for transport communicators to embrace the ‘active travel’ agenda, made urgent by the rise in obesity.

He said, “Is it possible to exhort people to do things they might otherwise not? Well the motor industry clearly thinks so, which is why it employs footballers like Thierry Henry to give its cars the ‘va va voom’. That word has recently entered the Oxford Dictionary, meaning “The quality of being exciting, vigorous, or sexually attractive,”, yet spending too much time sitting in our cars doesn’t give much va va voom – it leads to ever-increasing congestion, a deficit of physical activity, and blighted streets. 

”The challenge for transport professionals in the future will be to find ways to reduce the need for people to travel long distances for basic necessities. This will mean promoting the benefits of walking, ensuring that new developments are designed in ways that make walking easier, and concentrating on small projects which make streets and public spaces more pleasant rather than the large-scale long-distance infrastructure projects.”

The conference, which was organised by the Waterfront Partnership, was jointly sponsored by Living Streets.