Riding in Style: Buses Designed like Trains

Riding in Style: Buses Designed like Trains

Here’s good news: the number of passengers who use Amtrak train services in the state of Nevada has increased 19.9 percent from 2015. Here’s even better news for our industry: public bus transportation is still reigning king, with a 48 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled between 2000 and 2015, the largest upsurge in the nation.

This statistic added to our thought pool of imponderables: would these numbers climb even more if buses were designed like trains?

The idea has been done before. In the 1990s, architect Doug Suisman took a dig at the social stigma surrounding public transportation by introducing the Metro Rapid 720 to Los Angeles County. He redesigned the conventional look of public buses, giving the Metro Rapid a sleek red coat of paint, broadened windows, and wheel covers, almost to resemble that of a passenger train. His theory was that if he could clean up the cold, often boorish-look of buses, more people could picture themselves riding around in them. It didn’t take long before the Metro Rapid 720 became the first rapid transit bus system in Los Angeles, and the trendy mode of travel spread to places like the San Fernando Valley.

Even still with this transportation breakthrough, buses are still perceived to be a choice of necessity and not much more. But there are those few who still see a buses’ inner beauty, like fashion designer Trina Turk, who was quoted saying she could envision herself in a futuristic spaceship flying down the highway, like a bullet train off in space.  So how do you make a bus look cool? You make it a choice of social influencers, who normally travel by way of train or airplane. Red is eye-catching, but what about black with graphite black flooring and all-black seating? How about a less cramped floor plan so passengers can stretch their legs?

With a new millennial class eagerly making grandiose car purchases (these leads to overcrowding of roads and highways which will eventually lead to an increase in train and plane travel), now is as good a time as ever to “bite the bullet” sort-of-speak and hop on the bus-train trend. See what we’re talking about at Northwest Bus Sales, where you can design your very own bus with the help of our trusted technicians, or browse our fleet of mighty passenger machines today!

Five Accounts Bus Geeks Should Follow on Instagram

Five Accounts Bus Geeks Should Follow on Instagram

Buses are cool, just ask any social media influencer on Instagram; they have both nostalgic and new wave appeal, lending the savvy users of Instagram some creative inspiration. Check out our list of five must-follow Instagram accounts for the autobus-loving geeks of the world.


LA Metro (@metrolosangeles):

LA Metro links everything from trolley rides through Venice to bus routes toward Dodger Stadium. Each backdrop is beautifully tinged with the colors of a Californian sunset.

SEPTA (@septaphilly):

This is the official Instagram account of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and they pride themselves on providing a glimpse into the shared travels of others. You’ll also get a glimpse of some stunning architecture, too.

Hauntrod (@hauntrod):

Brian Morris takes bus conversion to an entirely new (and ghostly) level. From 1938 dated Ford jail buses to dilapidated campers, the mechanic digs up the hauntingly beautiful from an ugly and forgotten world.

Chanchita Bus (@chanchitabus):

Known as “The Faction Collective,” this group of three friends chronicles their ultimate skiing excursion to Argentina. Jumping on the “skoolie” trend, they live inside their 1966 remodeled Mercedes Benz school bus as they make their way south.

Felicien Michaut Photography (@frenchcartoys): 

From his IPhone4S, this artistic French photographer aims to teach as he takes his collection of foreign-brand miniature models and places them in natural scenes, exemplifying the historical French heritage behind each vehicle. His collection includes vintage Parisian buses from 1934 on a 1/43 scale.

Get creative with your own vision: build your dream bus today with Northwest Bus Sales!