Taxi Number Benoni

Airport Travel: Self Transportation Versus Taxi, Car, or Airport Shuttle Services or Taxi Number?

For many people Taxi Number  in Duxberry, employing an airport car service–be it a taxi, town car, or even shuttle–seems like a foreign concept. Many of us are used to either taking care of our own travel needs or calling on friends to drop us off or pick us up. While these two options are certainly wonderful, they don’t work in every situation. They also may not be the best way to start or end your journey in terms of making the best use of your time, and keeping your stress level to a minimum.

Best Taxi Shuttle To Airport

Even if you decide to stick with the DIY travel style, you should know that there are affordable and efficient airport travel alternatives available to you should you choose to employ them. As anyone who has ever been to an airport knows, taxis are a frequently used mode of transportation for either leaving or arriving at the airport. If you are traveling to the airport, making an appointment with a taxi service for pickup from your home can be a huge help. When you make a reservation for a taxi, they will be able to calculate how much time to allow for travel from your address, and may often even offer a flat fee rate for airport travel.

Airport Shuttle Service Price

If you (or someone you’re making a reservation for, such as a boss or a client) prefer to travel in a bit more style, you can also look into a car service as a transportation option. This gives you the same benefits of a taxi, but with more class and individual attention.If you are able to coordinate your own airport travel without difficulty, or if you simply feel more comfortable handling it on your own, there’s no reason not to. If, on the other hand, employing a taxi, town car, or shuttle to assist you in getting to or from the airport would simplify your travel and make it less stressful, you may want to consider employing such a service to help you with your travel needs.

Interesting Facts About Taxi Number in Edenvale:

About Taxi Number in Edenvale:

Airport Transportation Seattle Cost   (Redirected from Shuttle bus service) A transit bus operating in Campinas, Brazil

Public transport bus services are generally based on regular operation of transit buses along a route calling at agreed bus stops according to a published public transport timetable.

Parisian Omnibus, late nineteenth century A public transport timetable for bus services in England in the 1940s and 1950s

While there are indications of experiments with public transport in Paris as early as 1662,[1][2][3] there is evidence of a scheduled "bus route" from Market Street in Manchester to Pendleton in Salford UK, started by John Greenwood in 1824.[4]

Another claim for the first public transport system for general use originated in Nantes, France, in 1826. Stanislas Baudry, a retired army officer who had built public baths using the surplus heat from his flour mill on the city's edge, set up a short route between the center of town and his baths. The service started on the Place du Commerce, outside the hat shop of a M. Omnès, who displayed the motto Omnès Omnibus (Latin for "everything for everybody" or "all for all") on his shopfront. When Baudry discovered that passengers were just as interested in getting off at intermediate points as in patronizing his baths, he changed the route's focus. His new voiture omnibus ("carriage for all") combined the functions of the hired hackney carriage with a stagecoach that travelled a predetermined route from inn to inn, carrying passengers and mail. His omnibus had wooden benches that ran down the sides of the vehicle; passengers entered from the rear.

In 1828, Baudry went to Paris where he founded a company under the name Entreprise générale des omnibus de Paris, while his son Edmond Baudry founded two similar companies in Bordeaux and in Lyon.[5]

A London newspaper reported on July 4, 1829 that "the new vehicle, called the omnibus, commenced running this morning from Paddington to the City", operated by George Shillibeer.

The first omnibus service in New York began in 1829, when Abraham Brower, an entrepreneur who had organized volunteer fire companies, established a route along Broadway starting at Bowling Green. Other American cities soon followed suit: Philadelphia in 1831, Boston in 1835 and Baltimore in 1844. In most cases, the city governments granted a private company—generally a small stableman already in the livery or freight-hauling business—an exclusive franchise to operate public coaches along a specified route. In return, the company agreed to maintain certain minimum levels of service.

In 1832 the New York omnibus had a rival when the first trams, or streecars started operation along Bowery,[6] which offered the excellent improvement in amenity of riding on smooth iron rails rather than clattering over granite setts, called "Belgian blocks". The streetcars were financed by John Mason, a wealthy banker, and built by an Irish-American contractor, John Stephenson. The Fifth Avenue Coach Company introduced electric buses to Fifth Avenue in New York in 1898.

In 1831, New Yorker Washington Irving remarked of Britain's Reform Act (finally passed in 1832): "The great reform omnibus moves but slowly." Steam buses emerged in the 1830s as competition to the horse-drawn buses.

The omnibus extended the reach of the emerging cities. The walk from the former village of Paddington to the business heart of London in the City was a long one, even for a young man in good condition. The omnibus thus offered the suburbs more access to the inner city. The omnibus encouraged urbanization. Socially, the omnibus put city-dwellers, even if for only half an hour, into previously-unheard-of physical intimacy with strangers, squeezing them together knee-to-knee. Only the very poor remained excluded. A new division in urban society now came to the fore, dividing those who kept carriages from those who did not. The idea of the "carriage trade", the folk who never set foot in the streets, who had goods brought out from the shops for their appraisal, has its origins in the omnibus crush.

John D. Hertz founded the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company in 1923 and then sold a majority of shares to General Motors in 1925.

From the 1920s General Motors and others started buying up streetcar systems across the United States with a view to replacing them with buses in what became known as the Great American Streetcar Scandal.[7] This was accompanied by a continuing series of technical improvements: pneumatic "balloon" tires during the early 1920s, monocoque body construction in 1931, automatic transmission in 1936, diesel engines in 1936, 50+ passengers in 1948, and air suspension in 1953.[8]

The arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 for not giving up her seat to a white man on a public bus is considered one of the catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement within the United States.

A bi-articulated bus on the RIT bus rapid transit system in Curitiba, Brazil An urban bus in Gómez Palacio, Durango, Mexico.

The names of different types of bus services vary according to local tradition or marketing, although services can be classified into basic types based on route length, frequency, purpose of use and type of bus used.

Long-distance coach services (US: Intercity bus line) are bus services operated over long distances between cities. These services can form the mainstay of the travel network in countries with poor railway infrastructure. Different coach operators may band together on a franchise or connecting basis to offer a branded network that covers large distances, such as Trailways and National Express. These networks can even operate internationally, such as Eurolines of Europe. Interurban bus services are primarily aimed at linking together one or more urban centres, and as such are often run as express services while travelling in the intermediate rural areas, or even only call at two terminal points as a long distance shuttle service. Some interurban services may be operated as high specification luxury services, using coaches, in order to compete with railways, or link areas not rail connected. Interurban services may often terminate in central bus stations rather than on street stops. Other interurban services may specifically call at intermediate villages and may use slower transit buses or dual purpose buses.


A shuttle bus service in Sydney. School Bus See also: Public transport timetable

Many public bus services are run to a specific timetable giving specific times of departure and arrival at waypoints along the route. These are often difficult to maintain in the event of traffic congestion, breakdowns, on/off bus incidents, road blockages or bad weather. Predictable effects such as morning and evening rush hour traffic are often accounted for in timetables using past experience of the effects, although this then prevents the opportunity for drafting a ‘clock face’ timetable where the time of a bus is predictable at any time through the day. Predictable short term increases in passenger numbers may be dealt with by providing “duplicate” buses, where two or more buses operate the same slot in the timetable. Unpredictable problems resulting in delays and gaps in the timetabled service may be dealt with by ‘turning’ a bus early before it reaches it terminus, so that it can fill a gap in the opposite direction, meaning any passengers on the turned bus need to disembark and continue on a following bus. Also, depending on the location of the bus depot, replacement buses may be dispatched from the depot to fill in other gaps, starting the timetable part way along the route.

There is a common cliché that people “wait all day, and then three come along at once”, in relation to a phenomenon where evenly timetabled bus services can develop a gap in service followed by buses turning up almost simultaneously. This occurs when the rush hour begins and numbers of passengers at a stop increases, increasing the loading time, and thus delay scheduled service. The following bus then catches up because it begins to be delayed less at stops due to fewer passengers waiting. This is called bus bunching. This is prevented in some cities such as Berlin by assigning every stop arrival times where scheduled buses should arrive no earlier than specified.

Some services may have no specific departure times, the timetable giving the frequency of service on a route at particular phases of the day. This may be specified with departure times, but the over-riding factor is ensuring the regularity of buses arriving at stops. These are often the more frequent services, up to the busiest bus rapid transit schemes. For headway-based schemes, problems can be managed by changing speed, delaying at stops and leap-frogging a bus boarding at a stop.

Services may be strictly regulated in terms of level of adherence to timetables, and how often timetables may be changed. Operators and authorities may employ on street bus inspectors to monitor adherence in real time. Service operators often have a control room, or in the case of large operations, route controllers, who can monitor the level of service on routes and can take remedial action if problems occur. This was made easier with the technological advances of two way radio contact with drivers, and vehicle tracking systems.

Bus services have led to the implementation of various types of infrastructure now common in many urban and suburban settings. The most prevalent example is the ubiquitous bus stop. Large interchanges have required the building of bus stations. In roads and streets, infrastructure for buses has resulted in modifications to the kerb line such as protrusions and indentations, and even special kerb stones. Entire lanes or roads have been reserved for buses in bus lanes or busways. Bus fleets require large storage premises often located in urban areas, and may also make use of central works facilities.

Bus station in rural Russia See also: On-time performance

The level and reliability of bus services is often dependent on the quality of the local road network and levels of traffic congestion, and the population density. Services may be organised on tightly regulated networks with restrictions on when and where services operate, while other services are operated on an ad hoc basis in the model of share taxis.

Increasingly, technology is being used to improve the information provided to bus users, with vehicle tracking technologies to assist with scheduling, and to achieve real time integration with passenger information systems that display service information at stops, inside buses, and to waiting passengers through personal mobile devices or text messaging.

Bus drivers may be required to conduct fare collection, inspect a travel pass or free travel pass, or oversee stored-value card debiting. This may require the fitting of equipment to the bus. Alternatively, this duty and equipment may be delegated to a conductor who rides on the bus. In other areas, public transport buses may operate on a zero-fare basis, or ticket validation may be through use of on-board/off-board proof-of-payment systems, checked by roving ticket controllers who board and alight buses at random.

In some competitive systems, an incumbent operator may introduce a “low cost unit” paying lower wages, in order to be able to offer lower fares, using older buses cascaded from a main fleet to also reduce costs. In some sectors, operators such as Megabus (both in the UK and in North America) have attempted to emulate the low cost airlines model in order to attract passengers through low fares, by offering no frills bus services.

See also: List of bus operating companies

Public transport bus operation is differentiated from other bus operation by the fact the owner or driver of a bus is employed by or contracted to an organisation whose main public duty or commercial interest is to provide a public transport service for passengers to turn up and use, rather than fulfilling private contracts between the bus operator and user. Public transport buses are operated as a common carrier under a contract of carriage between the passenger and the operator.

The owners of public transport buses may be the municipal authority or transit authority that operates them, or they may be owned by individuals or private companies who operate them on behalf of the authorities on a franchise or contract basis. Other buses may be run entirely as private concerns, either on an owner-driver basis, or as multi-national transport groups. Some countries have specifically deregulated their bus services, allowing private operators to provide public bus services. In this case, an authority may make up the shortfall in levels of private service provision by funding or operating ‘socially necessary’ services, such as early or late services, on the weekends, or less busy routes. Ownership/operation of public transport buses can also take the form of a charitable operation or not for profit social enterprises.

Larger operations may have fleets of thousands of vehicles. At its peak in the 1950s, the London Transport Executive owned a bus fleet of 8,000 buses, the largest in the world. Many small operators have only a few vehicles or a single bus owned by an owner driver. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation holds the Guinness world record of having largest fleet of buses with 22,555 buses.[9]

In all cases in the developed world, public transport bus services are usually subject to some form of legal control in terms of vehicle safety standards and method of operation, and possibly the level of fares charged and routes operated.

Increasingly bus services are being made accessible, often in response to regulations and recommendations laid out in disability discrimination laws. This has resulted in the introduction of flexible bus services, and the introduction of Low-floor buses with features aimed at helping elderly, disabled or impaired passengers.

Taxi Number in Edenvale

Private Airport Transfers Prices

Shuttle-UM is a transit system for the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), which constitutes the UM acronym of the company, that operates as a unit of the university's Department of Transportation Services. The system is student-run and is supported by student fees and the university's Student Affairs department.[2] Its fleet consists of over 60 vehicles and transports approximately three million rides a year.[2] The system provides four different services: commuter, evening, charter, and demand response.[3] The latter consists of a paratransit service and a call response curb-to-curb service during the evening, while the former consists of a bus service that runs for 24 hours, seven days a week. Implied by its name, the bus service routes "shuttle" passengers to and from the university with over 20 different routes. Paid upon admission by students to the university, the services are complimentary and only certain services require university identification badges. In 2012, the company expanded to provide service to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus under the name, UM Shuttle. Additionally, a new facility was built to house Shuttle-UM's operations and fleet within the campus after over 30 years of being housed off campus.

Shuttle-UM was established in November 1972 by the University of Maryland, College Park's (UMD) Black Student Union as an initiative to promote security for students walking through campus during the evening hours. Operations began with the use of two vans to circulate campus, which were purchased by UMD's Student Government Association (SGA), the campus' student governing body, through approval by the Office of Commuter Student Affairs, a campus organization supporting students commuters. The operations were run in the basement of a residence hall on campus and consisted of running the vans on two fixed routes. By Spring 1973, the Residence Hall Association, the governing body for the campus' dormitory halls, donated an additional van which led to three fixed routes running through campus in the evening.[4] By the end of the system's first year of service, 65,000 had been transported.[4] The following year saw the addition of daytime routes to operations to parking lots and the establishment of Call-A-Ride, which was the original first curb-to-curb service for the transit system.[4] In 1975, four Mercedes Benz vans were purchased to expand the fleet to six vehicles. This same year, the name Shuttle-UM was established, three years after being a service provided by SGA, Shuttle-UM was now an independent entity for UMD.[4] Upon the transit system's independence, Charter service was added to its operations in 1975; the following year saw expansion to the curb-to-curb service with Disability Transit Service" for handicap persons; off-campus routes were established in 1976.

During the fall of 1978, Shuttle-UM's first facility was built on an off-campus parking lot on Greenhouse Road adjacent to Baltimore Avenue.[5] The new facility, known as UMD Building 013, featured a 12,000 gallon underground diesel tank, numerous maintenance bays, and a bus wash bay. Upon 1979, the project that started as a security service expanded to a transit system consisting of 10 routes with over 20 vehicles.[6] Barri Standish was hired as the first non-student full-time staff member to serve as the General Manager for Shuttle-UM to provide student guidance in transit operations.[4] Through 1985 and 1988, the Greenhouse facility was expanded to allocate growing operations with administrative offices and maintenance bays.[5] Shuttle-UM's expansion in 1985 also composed of ridership growing to 1.1 million passengers annually and employing 125 student employees that took the positions of "drivers, dispatchers, maintenance assistance, trainers, and managers."[6] By 1986, Shuttle-UM became a member of the American Public Transportation Association and the Transit Association of Maryland.[4] Within 1999 and 2001, the facility's maintenance bays were expanded to accommodate the growing fleet caused by the growing ridership; the administrative offices also underwent a further expansion in 2001 to accommodate growing employment.[5]

For several years, the annual ridership remained above 2 million; however, during the 2011-12 academic year, DOTS started an initiative that would reward their three millionth rider with free books for a school year, which ultimately commenced in their first year with 3 million riders.[7] In 2012, the construction of a brand new facility was completed on Paint Branch Drive within campus adjacent to the XFINITY Center. This new facility fit into DOTS' mission and goal to be more sustainable.

A Shuttle-UM 35 ft. Gillig Low Floor bus

The facility included geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, a green roof, and an in-ground filtration system to separate run-off diesel and storm water in the fueling area. The new facility was able to house all administration that was expanded within the years at the Greenhouse facility and featured an above-ground diesel tank that stored 2,000 gallons more.[5]

Shuttle UM Gillig Advantage at Prince George's Plaza

Shuttle-UM saw its first expansion with the introduction of its UM Shuttle service for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus which strictly serves the surrounding Baltimore areas near campus. President Jay Perman reached an agreement with UMD to answer requests of the UMB community to obtain a shuttle service within campus. In August 2012, UM Shuttle officially launched and began to transport staff, faculty, and other members of the UMB community with three distinct routes. The vehicles for these routes are operated in Baltimore but housed in the Paint Branch facility and driven by UMD employees. Like Shuttle-UM, university ID's grant access to riding the shuttles for UMB.[8]

Shuttle-UM and UM Shuttle are complimentary services via paid student fees and UMD's Student Affairs' funds.[9][10] Additionally, living complexes and businesses pay the organization to run the service in their area, which allow riders to ride by just showing drivers a university ID, not limited to University of Maryland System schools.[11] Residents of College Park were granted access to Shuttle-UM's services via a program approved by city council in 2010, which granted residents passes to show drivers.[12][13] In September 2012, the city of Greenbelt passed a similar program to that of College Park allowing passes for its residents to use Shuttle-UM's services.[14]

Shuttle-UM, although as separate entity in the beginning, is now a branch of DOTS, along with Campus Parking Enforcement. Both are housed at the Paint Branch facility; however, customer inquires regarding parking operate out of Regents Drive Garage offices. Located at Regents Drive Garage are the directors of DOTS, which is overseen by Senior Director David Allen: the directors delegate planning and oversee activity of every branch of the corporation. Every driving staff member for Shuttle-UM that holds a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is assigned a unit number, which are uniquely grouped to identify different departments and status'. These unit numbers are used to eliminate the usage of full names while having radio contact and have an important role in operations for the company.[5]

The Shuttle-UM and Campus Parking Enforcement operations branches of DOTS are overseen by its Senior Associate Director, Armand Scala, who directly reports to Allen. The two chief executives are regarded as being at the top realm of company operations, who work directly with numerous full-time chief operatives. Under the executives are the full-time shift supervisors, who directly manage the full-time driving staff. Student managers have the responsibility of managing student driving staff, alongside being responsible for running several departments of the organization's operations, such as Dispatch and Demand Response.[5]

The drivers for Shuttle-UM are all required to have a CDL class B, with passenger and air-brakes endorsement. These requirements are to be met in order to operate the vehicles in Shuttle-UM's fleet. Although completely composed of student drivers upon the company's inception, as of 2013, staff now features non-student full-time and part-time drivers. The full-time driving staff have a set schedule package that they select before every academic semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer) for UMCP consisting of 40 hours. Students are required to be enrolled at UMCP or University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), the latter due to the sister school sharing the UMCP campus, in order to be eligible to go through CDL training with Shuttle-UM. Students are given the opportunity to obtain their CDL granted upon that they complete a semester's worth of driving, where upon they have the option of leaving or exploring different departments to work for. Like the full-timers, students select shifts before the Spring and Fall semesters only, which are their weekly permanent shifts. Unlike full-time staff, students have more flexibility in choosing individual shifts rather than packages.[15]

Maintenance is overseen by the Fleet Maintenance Manager, who operates through numerous full-time field managers. These on-site managers are in charge of coordinating service to all vehicles in the fleet for Shuttle-UM and Campus Parking Enforcement, which both make up DOTS. Service done to these vehicles include but are not limited to preventative maintenance, DOT inspections, and fixing mechanical problems. Maintenance operates out of multiple bays located in the Paint Branch facility, which facilitates their work due to the facility also housing parking for all vehicles.[16]

The training department consists of certified CDL full-time instructors that are responsible for coordinate training to drivers, students and full-timers, who which to seek employment with Shuttle-UM and obtaining a CDL license. Training consists of multiple sessions that gives drivers numerous hours of training through range and road exercises in order to prepare them for CDL exams administered at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Upon their CDL completion, training is also responsible for giving orientations of all Shuttle-UM commercial vehicles in order to give all drivers and equal opportunity in driving routes that require different vehicles.[17]

The dispatch department is responsible for transit operations in regards to all services provided by the company, including demand response and fixed routes. All dispatchers are students, who are trained to operate the technology and equipment necessary to ensure service is operative. The dispatchers report directly to the shift supervisors upon problems arising before executing decisions that will ensure service being completed. Dispatch also coordinates all customer service inquires regarding routes, demand response, charter, staff, and campus guests. The Shuttle-UM dispatch department operates in sync with the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD), due to the organization being a state-governed agency: this connection with UMPD provides a branch of safety to drivers and to passengers upon distress signals and accident response. As a result, Shuttle-UM dispatch uses certain police 10-codes for daily operations. Aside from dealing with transit operations, the dispatchers are responsible for recording ridership tallies that are radio communicated to them by drivers upon the completion of every run of every route, which in turn gives the organization passenger data to work with in operations.[17]

A 40 ft. Flxible Metro bus in service at Regents Drive Parking Garage. This photo was taken before all of the remaining Flxibles retired in early 2013.

Beginning with simply two routes in 1972, the company has expanded its bus service by currently having 27 routes (23 that serve UMD, 3 that serve UMB, and 1 that serves BSU). Since its existence, the company has added and dropped several of its routes. These known documented instances are noted below. At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 academic year, Shuttle-UM ceased the operation of its 101 Route One Corridor service due to low ridership. This route once had the highest ridership of all routes in operation, but at the current time only averaged over 100 passengers a day. Certain stops that the community rallied to be served were added onto the 110 Seven Springs Apartments route to compensate.[18][19] At the conclusion of the 2007-2008 academic year, the 102 Campus Connector North and 103 Campus Connector South were discontinued in favor of the 125 Campus Circulator. The campus "connector" routes were the only routes that ran through campus before the start of the evening routes. For undisclosed reasons, the routes were merged into one route that saw the continuation of service through the same areas and regions of campus that were originally served.[20][21]

At the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year, the city of Greenbelt saw a reduction in service by Shuttle-UM. The 101 Beltway Plaza served the Beltway Plaza shopping mall by providing students a shopping outlet on the weekends. The route was last served during 2011-2012 and quietly terminated at the start of 2012-13.[3][11]

A Shuttle-UM bus stop located on the UMD campus

Additionally, the 131 Mazza Grandmarc/Enclave Franklin Park no longer ran to the Franklin Park complex in Greenbelt after 2011-12.[3][11] The creation of the 130 Greenbelt and expanded service to the 129 Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station for the 2011-12 academic year saw the merger of the 106 Greenbelt North and 119 Greenbelt South routes, which last ran at the conclusion of 2010-11.[3][6] Additional routes that saw changes included the 123 M-Square which was cancelled between 2010–11 and 2012–13, which saw its services expanded onto the 109 River Road; the 108 Powder Mill Village received a name change and service change to 108 Adelphi by not serving the apartment complex any further.[3][6]

At the conclusion of 2011-12, the 113 University Town Center and 113 University Town Center (Saturday) lost ridership and lost its University Town Center Towers complex funding sponsor. As a result, the route was to be terminated. However, negotiations between student groups and DOTS resulted in the route being kept for one more year (2012–13) under the name 113 Hyattsville which extended the service to the Hyattsville residential neighborhoods.[22] The 2012-13 year saw the cancellation of the company's "park and ride" services: 101 Burtonsville Park and Ride, 107 Laurel Park and Ride, and 120 Bowie Park and Ride. As Shuttle-UM's first aim to promote sustainability by providing service to regions further than the surrounding campus, the routes servicing Burtonsville, Bowie, and Laurel saw a decline in ridership. Riders protested its cancellation; however, on October 12, the routes were serviced for the final time while DOTS provided alternatives for the riders in reaching campus. Additionally to the decline in riders, the 124 The Universities at Shady Grove route required more buses and funds to maintain, thus the park and rides fate was determined by a budget cut necessary to maintain the 124.[23]

With the expansion of Shuttle-UM into Baltimore at the UMB campus, three routes began to service the area in 2012-13 with 701 BioPark, 702 Mount Vernon, and 703 Federal Hill servicing the immediate UMB campus seven days a week.[24]

The Shuttle-UM transit system operates primarily at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) campus with satellite service at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and University of Baltimore (UB). There are currently 31 routes (26 serviced at UMD, 3 serviced at UMB, and 2 serviced at UB) that operate for the University System of Maryland (USM). The UMD routes hub on campus at one of its two terminals: Adele H. Stamp Student Union and Regents Drive Parking Garage, with the exception of one route (see 109 River Road). The UMB routes hub on campus at the Pearl Street Garage. The UB routes hub at one of two terminals: State Center (on campus) and Penn Station (off campus). As the name of the organization implies, the transit system operates as a "shuttle" to and from campus.

There are 15 documented routes that have been cancelled, altered, or renamed.

Scheduled bus service is also available for academic semester breaks from Stamp Student Union to areas outside of Maryland.

Transportation to Metropark in New Jersey allows access to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit routes. Bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal provides indirect access to JFK, LaGuardia and other transit options in New York City.

Shuttle-UM also has seasonal routes to the Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, NJ and Philadelphia.

Shuttle-UM owns over 70 vehicles used to fulfill its service. They range from a variety of builders, models, length, and engine transmission. The company numbers its series according to the year the vehicle was registered to begin service. For example, vehicle 3813 is a 2013 Gillig Low Floor bus, but was not placed in service until 2013. Thus, the 13 is added to the final two digits of Shuttle-UM's series numbering. The vehicles are also grouped in several categories: PHG (Gillig Phantom), LFG (Gillig Low Floor), FFG (40 feet (12 m) Gillig Low Floor Bus), FTL (Freightliner Champion Defender), Vans (Ford E-450, Ford E-350, Dodge Sprinter, Chevrolet Express), and Motor Coach (Setra S417).

  1. ^ a b "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2015" (pdf). American Public Transportation Association. March 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-19 – via http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/ridershipreport.aspx. 
  2. ^ a b Handbook 2012-13, p. 2
  3. ^ a b c d e "Campus Connections" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services at University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hornbake Archives. "Records of Shuttle-UM". University of Maryland, College Park. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Handbook 2012-13, p. 75
  6. ^ a b c d "Shuttle-UM Regulations (2010)". Department of Transportation Services at University of Maryland. 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2012-10-13.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Shuttleregulations10" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ "Freshmen is DOTS 3 millionth rider , wins year's worth of textbooks". Campus Drive blog. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ Fishel, Ed (2012-09-13). "Bus Gratis: UM Shuttle arrives". The Voice. University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ "Undergraduate Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 fees". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  10. ^ "Graduate Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 fees". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  11. ^ a b c "Use of Shuttle-UM by Greenbelt Residents". Greenbelt, Maryland City Council. 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  12. ^ McCarty, Alicia (2010-09-29). "Divided city council passes Shuttle-UM program extension". The Diamondback. College Park, Md. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  13. ^ Schuman, Jonah (2008-08-14). "Shuttle service to open in September". The Gazette. College Park, Md. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  14. ^ Henneberg, Bailey (2012-09-11). "Shuttle-UM kicks off in Greenbelt". Greenbelt Patch. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  15. ^ Handbook 2012-13, p. 33
  16. ^ Handbook 2012-13, p. 50
  17. ^ a b Handbook 2012-13, p. 30
  18. ^ "Shuttle-UM loses Route 1 service but doubles resident ridership". The Gazette. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  19. ^ McGonigle, Kate (2009-07-15). "Bus route changes to make up for lost line". The Diamondback. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  20. ^ a b Department of Transportation Service at the University of Maryland (2006-08-30). "102 Campus Connector North" (PDF). R.H. Smith School Business at the University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  21. ^ a b Department of Transportation Service at the University of Maryland (2006-08-30). "102 Campus Connector South" (PDF). R.H. Smith School Business at the University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  22. ^ "UMD students still have Hyattsville shuttle". Hyattsville Patch. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  23. ^ "Service ending October 12th, 2012" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services (UMD). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  24. ^ "UM Shuttle". University of Maryland, Baltimore. Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  25. ^ "104-College Park Metro Station map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  26. ^ "104-College Park Metro Station map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  27. ^ "105-The Courtyards map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  28. ^ "108-Adelphi map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  29. ^ "108-Adelphi map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  30. ^ "109-River Road map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  31. ^ "110-Seven Springs Apartments map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  32. ^ "111-Silver Spring map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  33. ^ "111-Silver Spring map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  34. ^ "113-Hyattsville map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  35. ^ "113-Hyattsville map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  36. ^ "114-University View map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  37. ^ "115-Orange map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  38. ^ "116-Purple map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  39. ^ "117-Blue map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  40. ^ "118-Gold map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  41. ^ "122 Green map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  42. ^ "124-The Universities at Shady Grove map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  43. ^ "125-Circulator map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  44. ^ "126-New Carrollton map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  45. ^ "126-New Carrollton map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  46. ^ "127 Mazza GrandMarc map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  47. ^ "128-The Enclave map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  48. ^ "129-Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  49. ^ "129-Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  50. ^ "130-Greenbelt map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  51. ^ "130-Greenbelt map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  52. ^ "131-The Enclave and Mazza GrandMarc map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "132-The Varsity map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  54. ^ "133-The Mall at Prince George's map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  55. ^ "134-Mazza GrandMarc and Seven Springs map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  56. ^ "135 University Connector map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-28. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  57. ^ "136 Indigo map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  58. ^ "701 BioPark/Midtown Medical Center map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  59. ^ "702 Mount Vernon map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  60. ^ "703 Federal Hill map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  61. ^ "601 State Center timetable (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  62. ^ "601 State Center map (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  63. ^ "602 Penn Station timetable (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  64. ^ "602 Penn Station map (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 

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The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development.[10] The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. In addition to the prototype whose completion was cancelled, five complete Shuttle systems were built and used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); conducted science experiments in orbit; and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. The Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.[11]

Shuttle components included the Orbiter Vehicle (OV) with three clustered Rocketdyne RS-25 main engines, a pair of recoverable solid rocket boosters (SRBs), and the expendable external tank (ET) containing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Space Shuttle was launched vertically, like a conventional rocket, with the two SRBs operating in parallel with the OV's three main engines, which were fueled from the ET. The SRBs were jettisoned before the vehicle reached orbit, and the ET was jettisoned just before orbit insertion, which used the orbiter's two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines. At the conclusion of the mission, the orbiter fired its OMS to de-orbit and re-enter the atmosphere. The orbiter then glided as a spaceplane to a runway landing, usually to the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida or Rogers Dry Lake in Edwards Air Force Base, California. After landing at Edwards, the orbiter was flown back to the KSC on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a specially modified version of the Boeing 747.

The first orbiter, Enterprise, was built in 1976, used in Approach and Landing Tests and had no orbital capability. Four fully operational orbiters were initially built: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. Of these, two were lost in mission accidents: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003, with a total of fourteen astronauts killed. A fifth operational (and sixth in total) orbiter, Endeavour, was built in 1991 to replace Challenger. The Space Shuttle was retired from service upon the conclusion of Atlantis's final flight on July 21, 2011. The U.S. has since relied primarily on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable[12] human spaceflight vehicle capable of reaching low Earth orbit, commissioned and operated by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1981 to 2011. It resulted from shuttle design studies conducted by NASA and the US Air Force in the 1960s and was first proposed for development as part of an ambitious second-generation Space Transportation System (STS) of space vehicles to follow the Apollo program in a September 1969 report of a Space Task Group headed by Vice President Spiro Agnew to President Richard Nixon. Nixon's post-Apollo NASA budgeting withdrew support of all system components except the Shuttle, to which NASA applied the STS name.[10]

The vehicle consisted of a spaceplane for orbit and re-entry, fueled from expendable liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, with reusable strap-on solid booster rockets. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The system was retired from service in 2011 after 135 missions,[13] with Atlantis making the final launch of the three-decade Shuttle program on July 8, 2011.[14] The program ended after Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011. Major missions included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes,[15] conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. The first orbiter vehicle, named Enterprise, was used in the initial Approach and Landing Tests phase but installation of engines, heat shielding, and other equipment necessary for orbital flight was cancelled.[16] A total of five operational orbiters were built, and of these, two were destroyed in accidents.

It was used for orbital space missions by NASA, the US Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, Japan, and Germany.[17][18] The United States funded Shuttle development and operations except for the Spacelab modules used on D1 and D2—sponsored by Germany.[17][19][20][21][22] SL-J was partially funded by Japan.[18]

STS-129 ready for launch Shuttle approach and landing test crews, 1976 Early concept for a space shuttle refueling a space tug, 1970

At launch, it consisted of the "stack", including the dark orange external tank (ET) (for the first two launches the tank was painted white);[23][24] two white, slender solid rocket boosters (SRBs); and the Orbiter Vehicle, which contained the crew and payload. Some payloads were launched into higher orbits with either of two different upper stages developed for the STS (single-stage Payload Assist Module or two-stage Inertial Upper Stage). The Space Shuttle was stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the stack mounted on a mobile launch platform held down by four frangible nuts[25] on each SRB, which were detonated at launch.[26]

The Shuttle stack launched vertically like a conventional rocket. It lifted off under the power of its two SRBs and three main engines, which were fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen from the ET. The Space Shuttle had a two-stage ascent. The SRBs provided additional thrust during liftoff and first-stage flight. About two minutes after liftoff, frangible nuts were fired, releasing the SRBs, which then parachuted into the ocean, to be retrieved by NASA recovery ships for refurbishment and reuse. The orbiter and ET continued to ascend on an increasingly horizontal flight path under power from its main engines. Upon reaching 17,500 mph (7.8 km/s), necessary for low Earth orbit, the main engines were shut down. The ET, attached by two frangible nuts[27] was then jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere.[28] After jettisoning the external tank, the orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines were used to adjust the orbit. The orbiter carried astronauts and payloads such as satellites or space station parts into low Earth orbit, the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere.[29] Usually, five to seven crew members rode in the orbiter. Two crew members, the commander and pilot, were sufficient for a minimal flight, as in the first four "test" flights, STS-1 through STS-4. The typical payload capacity was about 50,045 pounds (22,700 kg) but could be increased depending on the choice of launch configuration. The orbiter carried its payload in a large cargo bay with doors that opened along the length of its top, a feature which made the Space Shuttle unique among spacecraft. This feature made possible the deployment of large satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope and also the capture and return of large payloads back to Earth.

When the orbiter's space mission was complete, it fired its OMS thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enter the lower atmosphere.[29] During descent, the orbiter passed through different layers of the atmosphere and decelerated from hypersonic speed primarily by aerobraking. In the lower atmosphere and landing phase, it was more like a glider but with reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and fly-by-wire-controlled hydraulically actuated flight surfaces controlling its descent. It landed on a long runway as a conventional aircraft. The aerodynamic shape was a compromise between the demands of radically different speeds and air pressures during re-entry, hypersonic flight, and subsonic atmospheric flight. As a result, the orbiter had a relatively high sink rate at low altitudes, and it transitioned during re-entry from using RCS thrusters at very high altitudes to flight surfaces in the lower atmosphere.

President Nixon (right) with NASA Administrator Fletcher in January 1972, three months before Congress approved funding for the Shuttle program Vision for a Spacelab mission with various equipment in the Shuttle bay Vision for Space Station Freedom, with an STS orbiter docked

The formal design of what became the Space Shuttle began with the "Phase A" contract design studies issued in the late 1960s. Conceptualization had begun two decades earlier, before the Apollo program of the 1960s. One of the places the concept of a spacecraft returning from space to a horizontal landing originated was within NACA, in 1954, in the form of an aeronautics research experiment later named the X-15. The NACA proposal was submitted by Walter Dornberger.

In 1958, the X-15 concept further developed into a proposal to launch an X-15 into space, and another X-series spaceplane proposal, named X-20 Dyna-Soar, as well as variety of aerospace plane concepts and studies. Neil Armstrong was selected to pilot both the X-15 and the X-20. Though the X-20 was not built, another spaceplane similar to the X-20 was built several years later and delivered to NASA in January 1966 called the HL-10 ("HL" indicated "horizontal landing").

In the mid-1960s, the US Air Force conducted classified studies on next-generation space transportation systems and concluded that semi-reusable designs were the cheapest choice. It proposed a development program with an immediate start on a "Class I" vehicle with expendable boosters, followed by slower development of a "Class II" semi-reusable design and possible "Class III" fully reusable design later. In 1967, George Mueller held a one-day symposium at NASA headquarters to study the options. Eighty people attended and presented a wide variety of designs, including earlier US Air Force designs such as the X-20 Dyna-Soar.

In 1968, NASA officially began work on what was then known as the Integrated Launch and Re-entry Vehicle (ILRV). At the same time, NASA held a separate Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) competition. NASA offices in Houston and Huntsville jointly issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for ILRV studies to design a spacecraft that could deliver a payload to orbit but also re-enter the atmosphere and fly back to Earth. For example, one of the responses was for a two-stage design, featuring a large booster and a small orbiter, called the DC-3, one of several Phase A Shuttle designs. After the aforementioned "Phase A" studies, B, C, and D phases progressively evaluated in-depth designs up to 1972. In the final design, the bottom stage consisted of recoverable solid rocket boosters, and the top stage used an expendable external tank.[30]

In 1969, President Richard Nixon decided to support proceeding with Space Shuttle development. A series of development programs and analysis refined the basic design, prior to full development and testing. In August 1973, the X-24B proved that an unpowered spaceplane could re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a horizontal landing.

Across the Atlantic, European ministers met in Belgium in 1973 to authorize Western Europe's manned orbital project and its main contribution to Space Shuttle—the Spacelab program.[31] Spacelab would provide a multidisciplinary orbital space laboratory and additional space equipment for the Shuttle.[31]

STS-1 on the launch pad, December 1980

The Space Shuttle was the first operational orbital spacecraft designed for reuse. It carried different payloads to low Earth orbit, provided crew rotation and supplies for the International Space Station (ISS), and performed satellite servicing and repair. The orbiter could also recover satellites and other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth. Each Shuttle was designed for a projected lifespan of 100 launches or ten years of operational life, although this was later extended. The person in charge of designing the STS was Maxime Faget, who had also overseen the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft designs. The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and military satellites, and have over 1,000 mile cross-range recovery range to meet the requirement for classified USAF missions for a once-around abort from a launch to a polar orbit. The militarily specified 1,085 nmi (2,009 km; 1,249 mi) cross range requirement was one of the primary reasons for the Shuttle's large wings, compared to modern commercial designs with very minimal control surfaces and glide capability. Factors involved in opting for solid rockets and an expendable fuel tank included the desire of the Pentagon to obtain a high-capacity payload vehicle for satellite deployment, and the desire of the Nixon administration to reduce the costs of space exploration by developing a spacecraft with reusable components.

Each Space Shuttle was a reusable launch system composed of three main assemblies: the reusable OV, the expendable ET, and the two reusable SRBs.[32] Only the OV entered orbit shortly after the tank and boosters are jettisoned. The vehicle was launched vertically like a conventional rocket, and the orbiter glided to a horizontal landing like an airplane, after which it was refurbished for reuse. The SRBs parachuted to splashdown in the ocean where they were towed back to shore and refurbished for later Shuttle missions.

Discovery rockets into orbit, seen here just after solid rocket booster (SRB) separation Tail-end of an orbiter showing various nozzles during an orbital maneuver with ISS

Five operational OVs were built: Columbia (OV-102), Challenger (OV-099), Discovery (OV-103), Atlantis (OV-104), and Endeavour (OV-105). A mock-up, Inspiration, currently stands at the entrance to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. An additional craft, Enterprise (OV-101), was built for atmospheric testing gliding and landing; it was originally intended to be outfitted for orbital operations after the test program, but it was found more economical to upgrade the structural test article STA-099 into orbiter Challenger (OV-099). Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch in 1986, and Endeavour was built as a replacement from structural spare components. Building Endeavour cost about US$1.7 billion. Columbia broke apart over Texas during re-entry in 2003. A Space Shuttle launch cost around $450 million.[33]

Roger A. Pielke, Jr. has estimated that the Space Shuttle program cost about US$170 billion (2008 dollars) through early 2008; the average cost per flight was about US$1.5 billion.[34] Two missions were paid for by Germany, Spacelab D1 and D2 (D for Deutschland) with a payload control center in Oberpfaffenhofen.[35][36] D1 was the first time that control of a manned STS mission payload was not in U.S. hands.[17]

At times, the orbiter itself was referred to as the Space Shuttle. This was not technically correct as the Space Shuttle was the combination of the orbiter, the external tank, and the two solid rocket boosters. These components, once assembled in the Vehicle Assembly Building originally built to assemble the Apollo Saturn V rocket, were commonly referred to as the "stack".[37]

Responsibility for the Shuttle components was spread among multiple NASA field centers. The Kennedy Space Center was responsible for launch, landing and turnaround operations for equatorial orbits (the only orbit profile actually used in the program), the US Air Force at the Vandenberg Air Force Base was responsible for launch, landing and turnaround operations for polar orbits (though this was never used), the Johnson Space Center served as the central point for all Shuttle operations, the Marshall Space Flight Center was responsible for the main engines, external tank, and solid rocket boosters, the John C. Stennis Space Center handled main engine testing, and the Goddard Space Flight Center managed the global tracking network.[38]

Main article: Space Shuttle orbiter Shuttle launch profiles. From left to right: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour.

The orbiter resembled a conventional aircraft, with double-delta wings swept 81° at the inner leading edge and 45° at the outer leading edge. Its vertical stabilizer's leading edge was swept back at a 50° angle. The four elevons, mounted at the trailing edge of the wings, and the rudder/speed brake, attached at the trailing edge of the stabilizer, with the body flap, controlled the orbiter during descent and landing.

The orbiter's 60-foot (18 m)-long payload bay, comprising most of the fuselage, could accommodate cylindrical payloads up to 15 feet (4.6 m) in diameter. Information declassified in 2011 showed that these measurements were chosen specifically to accommodate the KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office.[39] Two mostly-symmetrical lengthwise payload bay doors hinged on either side of the bay comprised its entire top. Payloads were generally loaded horizontally into the bay while the orbiter was standing upright on the launch pad and unloaded vertically in the near-weightless orbital environment by the orbiter's robotic remote manipulator arm (under astronaut control), EVA astronauts, or under the payloads' own power (as for satellites attached to a rocket "upper stage" for deployment.)

Three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) were mounted on the orbiter's aft fuselage in a triangular pattern. The engine nozzles could gimbal 10.5 degrees up and down, and 8.5 degrees from side to side during ascent to change the direction of their thrust to steer the Shuttle. The orbiter structure was made primarily from aluminum alloy, although the engine structure was made primarily from titanium alloy.

The operational orbiters built were OV-102 Columbia, OV-099 Challenger, OV-103 Discovery, OV-104 Atlantis, and OV-105 Endeavour.[40]

Main article: Space Shuttle external tank An external tank floats away from the orbiter. Interior of an External Tank

The main function of the Space Shuttle external tank was to supply the liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel to the main engines. It was also the backbone of the launch vehicle, providing attachment points for the two solid rocket boosters and the orbiter. The external tank was the only part of the Shuttle system that was not reused. Although the external tanks were always discarded, it would have been possible to take them into orbit and re-use them (such as a wet workshop for incorporation into a space station).[28][42]

Main article: Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster

Two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) each provided 12,500 kN (2,800,000 lbf) of thrust at liftoff,[43] which was 83% of the total thrust at liftoff. The SRBs were jettisoned two minutes after launch at a height of about 46 km (150,000 ft), and then deployed parachutes and landed in the ocean to be recovered.[44] The SRB cases were made of steel about ½ inch (13 mm) thick.[45] The solid rocket boosters were re-used many times; the casing used in Ares I engine testing in 2009 consisted of motor cases that had been flown, collectively, on 48 Shuttle missions, including STS-1.[46]

Astronauts who have flown on multiple spacecraft report that Shuttle delivers a rougher ride than Apollo or Soyuz.[47][48] The additional vibration is caused by the solid rocket boosters, as solid fuel does not burn as evenly as liquid fuel. The vibration dampens down after the solid rocket boosters have been jettisoned.[49][50]

The orbiter could be used in conjunction with a variety of add-ons depending on the mission. This included orbital laboratories (Spacelab, Spacehab), boosters for launching payloads farther into space (Inertial Upper Stage, Payload Assist Module), and other functions, such as provided by Extended Duration Orbiter, Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, or Canadarm (RMS). An upper stage called Transfer Orbit Stage (Orbital Science Corp. TOS-21) was also used once with the orbiter.[51] Other types of systems and racks were part of the modular Spacelab system —pallets, igloo, IPS, etc., which also supported special missions such as SRTM.[52]

Main article: Spacelab European astronauts prepare for their Spacelab mission, 1984 Interior of Spacelab LM2

A major component of the Space Shuttle Program was Spacelab, primarily contributed by a consortium of European countries, and operated in conjunction with the United States and international partners.[52] Supported by a modular system of pressurized modules, pallets, and systems, Spacelab missions executed on multidisciplinary science, orbital logistics, and international cooperation.[52] Over 29 missions flew on subjects ranging from astronomy, microgravity, radar, and life sciences, to name a few.[52] Spacelab hardware also supported missions such as Hubble (HST) servicing and space station resupply.[52] STS-2 and STS-3 provided testing, and the first full mission was Spacelab-1 (STS-9) launched on November 28, 1983.[52]

Spacelab formally began in 1973, after a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, by European heads of state.[31] Within the decade, Spacelab went into orbit and provided Europe and the United States with an orbital workshop and hardware system.[31] International cooperation, science, and exploration were realized on Spacelab.[52]

The Shuttle was one of the earliest craft to use a computerized fly-by-wire digital flight control system. This means no mechanical or hydraulic linkages connected the pilot's control stick to the control surfaces or reaction control system thrusters. The control algorithm, which used a classical Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) approach, was developed and maintained by Honeywell.[citation needed] The Shuttle's fly-by-wire digital flight control system was composed of 4 control systems each addressing a different mission phase: Ascent, Descent, On-Orbit and Aborts.[citation needed] Honeywell is also credited with the design and implementation of the Shuttle's Nose Wheel Steering Control Algorithm that allowed the Orbiter to safely land at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Runway.[citation needed]

A concern with using digital fly-by-wire systems on the Shuttle was reliability. Considerable research went into the Shuttle computer system. The Shuttle used five identical redundant IBM 32-bit general purpose computers (GPCs), model AP-101, constituting a type of embedded system. Four computers ran specialized software called the Primary Avionics Software System (PASS). A fifth backup computer ran separate software called the Backup Flight System (BFS). Collectively they were called the Data Processing System (DPS).[53][54]

Simulation of SSLV at Mach 2.46 and 66,000 ft (20,000 m). The surface of the vehicle is colored by the pressure coefficient, and the gray contours represent the density of the surrounding air, as calculated using the OVERFLOW software package.

The design goal of the Shuttle's DPS was fail-operational/fail-safe reliability. After a single failure, the Shuttle could still continue the mission. After two failures, it could still land safely.

The four general-purpose computers operated essentially in lockstep, checking each other. If one computer provided a different result than the other three (i.e. the one computer failed), the three functioning computers "voted" it out of the system. This isolated it from vehicle control. If a second computer of the three remaining failed, the two functioning computers voted it out. A very unlikely failure mode would have been where two of the computers produced result A, and two produced result B (a two-two split). In this unlikely case, one group of two was to be picked at random.

The Backup Flight System (BFS) was separately developed software running on the fifth computer, used only if the entire four-computer primary system failed. The BFS was created because although the four primary computers were hardware redundant, they all ran the same software, so a generic software problem could crash all of them. Embedded system avionic software was developed under totally different conditions from public commercial software: the number of code lines was tiny compared to a public commercial software product, changes were only made infrequently and with extensive testing, and many programming and test personnel worked on the small amount of computer code. However, in theory it could have still failed, and the BFS existed for that contingency. While the BFS could run in parallel with PASS, the BFS never engaged to take over control from PASS during any Shuttle mission.

The software for the Shuttle computers was written in a high-level language called HAL/S, somewhat similar to PL/I. It is specifically designed for a real time embedded system environment.

The IBM AP-101 computers originally had about 424 kilobytes of magnetic core memory each. The CPU could process about 400,000 instructions per second. They had no hard disk drive, and loaded software from magnetic tape cartridges.

In 1990, the original computers were replaced with an upgraded model AP-101S, which had about 2.5 times the memory capacity (about 1 megabyte) and three times the processor speed (about 1.2 million instructions per second). The memory was changed from magnetic core to semiconductor with battery backup.

Early Shuttle missions, starting in November 1983, took along the Grid Compass, arguably one of the first laptop computers. The GRiD was given the name SPOC, for Shuttle Portable Onboard Computer. Use on the Shuttle required both hardware and software modifications which were incorporated into later versions of the commercial product. It was used to monitor and display the Shuttle's ground position, path of the next two orbits, show where the Shuttle had line of sight communications with ground stations, and determine points for location-specific observations of the Earth. The Compass sold poorly, as it cost at least US$8000, but it offered unmatched performance for its weight and size.[55] NASA was one of its main customers.[56]

During its service life, the Shuttle's Control System never experienced a failure. Many of the lessons learned have been used to design today's high speed control algorithms.[57]

Payload specialist Millie Hughes-Fulford, who flew aboard Columbia in 1991, displays the modernist Blackburn & Danne NASA logotype, known as "the worm".

The prototype orbiter Enterprise originally had a flag of the United States on the upper surface of the left wing and the letters "USA" in black on the right wing. The name "Enterprise" was painted in black on the payload bay doors just above the hinge and behind the crew module; on the aft end of the payload bay doors was the NASA "worm" logotype in gray. Underneath the rear of the payload bay doors on the side of the fuselage just above the wing is the text "United States" in black with a flag of the United States ahead of it.

The first operational orbiter, Columbia, originally had the same markings as Enterprise, although the letters "USA" on the right wing were slightly larger and spaced farther apart. Columbia also had black markings which Enterprise lacked on its forward RCS module, around the cockpit windows, and on its vertical stabilizer, and had distinctive black "chines" on the forward part of its upper wing surfaces, which none of the other orbiters had.

Challenger established a modified marking scheme for the shuttle fleet that was matched by Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. The letters "USA" in black above an American flag were displayed on the left wing, with the NASA "worm" logotype in gray centered above the name of the orbiter in black on the right wing. The name of the orbiter was inscribed not on the payload bay doors, but on the forward fuselage just below and behind the cockpit windows. This would make the name visible when the shuttle was photographed in orbit with the doors open.

In 1983, Enterprise had its wing markings changed to match Challenger, and the NASA "worm" logotype on the aft end of the payload bay doors was changed from gray to black. Some black markings were added to the nose, cockpit windows and vertical tail to more closely resemble the flight vehicles, but the name "Enterprise" remained on the payload bay doors as there was never any need to open them. Columbia had its name moved to the forward fuselage to match the other flight vehicles after STS-61-C, during the 1986–88 hiatus when the shuttle fleet was grounded following the loss of Challenger, but retained its original wing markings until its last overhaul (after STS-93), and its unique black wing "chines" for the remainder of its operational life.

Beginning in 1998, the flight vehicles' markings were modified to incorporate the NASA "meatball" insignia. The "worm" logotype, which the agency had phased out, was removed from the payload bay doors and the "meatball" insignia was added aft of the "United States" text on the lower aft fuselage. The "meatball" insignia was also displayed on the left wing, with the American flag above the orbiter's name, left-justified rather than centered, on the right wing. The three surviving flight vehicles, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, still bear these markings as museum displays. Enterprise became the property of the Smithsonian Institution in 1985 and was no longer under NASA's control when these changes were made, hence the prototype orbiter still has its 1983 markings and still has its name on the payload bay doors.

Atlantis was the first Shuttle to fly with a glass cockpit, on STS-101. (composite image)

The Space Shuttle was initially developed in the 1970s,[58] but received many upgrades and modifications afterward to improve performance, reliability and safety. Internally, the Shuttle remained largely similar to the original design, with the exception of the improved avionics computers. In addition to the computer upgrades, the original analog primary flight instruments were replaced with modern full-color, flat-panel display screens, called a glass cockpit, which is similar to those of contemporary airliners. To facilitate construction of ISS, the internal airlocks of each orbiter except Columbia[59] were replaced with external docking systems to allow for a greater amount of cargo to be stored on the Shuttle's mid-deck during station resupply missions.

The Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) had several improvements to enhance reliability and power. This explains phrases such as "Main engines throttling up to 104 percent." This did not mean the engines were being run over a safe limit. The 100 percent figure was the original specified power level. During the lengthy development program, Rocketdyne determined the engine was capable of safe reliable operation at 104 percent of the originally specified thrust. NASA could have rescaled the output number, saying in essence 104 percent is now 100 percent. To clarify this would have required revising much previous documentation and software, so the 104 percent number was retained. SSME upgrades were denoted as "block numbers", such as block I, block II, and block IIA. The upgrades improved engine reliability, maintainability and performance. The 109% thrust level was finally reached in flight hardware with the Block II engines in 2001. The normal maximum throttle was 104 percent, with 106 percent or 109 percent used for mission aborts.

For the first two missions, STS-1 and STS-2, the external tank was painted white to protect the insulation that covers much of the tank, but improvements and testing showed that it was not required. The weight saved by not painting the tank resulted in an increase in payload capability to orbit.[60] Additional weight was saved by removing some of the internal "stringers" in the hydrogen tank that proved unnecessary. The resulting "light-weight external tank" was first flown on STS-6 [61] and used on the majority of Shuttle missions. STS-91 saw the first flight of the "super light-weight external tank". This version of the tank was made of the 2195 aluminum-lithium alloy. It weighed 3.4 metric tons (7,500 lb) less than the last run of lightweight tanks, allowing the Shuttle to deliver heavy elements to ISS's high inclination orbit.[61] As the Shuttle was always operated with a crew, each of these improvements was first flown on operational mission flights.

The solid rocket boosters underwent improvements as well. Design engineers added a third O-ring seal to the joints between the segments after the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

The three nozzles of the Space Shuttle Main Engine with the two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pods, and the vertical stabilizer above.

Several other SRB improvements were planned to improve performance and safety, but never came to be. These culminated in the considerably simpler, lower cost, probably safer and better-performing Advanced Solid Rocket Booster. These rockets entered production in the early to mid-1990s to support the Space Station, but were later canceled to save money after the expenditure of $2.2 billion.[62] The loss of the ASRB program resulted in the development of the Super LightWeight external Tank (SLWT), which provided some of the increased payload capability, while not providing any of the safety improvements. In addition, the US Air Force developed their own much lighter single-piece SRB design using a filament-wound system, but this too was canceled.

STS-70 was delayed in 1995, when woodpeckers bored holes in the foam insulation of Discovery's external tank. Since then, NASA has installed commercial plastic owl decoys and inflatable owl balloons which had to be removed prior to launch.[63] The delicate nature of the foam insulation had been the cause of damage to the Thermal Protection System, the tile heat shield and heat wrap of the orbiter. NASA remained confident that this damage, while it was the primary cause of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, would not jeopardize the completion of the International Space Station (ISS) in the projected time allotted.

A cargo-only, unmanned variant of the Shuttle was variously proposed and rejected since the 1980s. It was called the Shuttle-C, and would have traded re-usability for cargo capability, with large potential savings from reusing technology developed for the Space Shuttle. Another proposal was to convert the payload bay into a passenger area, with versions ranging from 30 to 74 seats, three days in orbit, and cost US$1.5 million per seat.[64]

On the first four Shuttle missions, astronauts wore modified US Air Force high-altitude full-pressure suits, which included a full-pressure helmet during ascent and descent. From the fifth flight, STS-5, until the loss of Challenger, one-piece light blue nomex flight suits and partial-pressure helmets were worn. A less-bulky, partial-pressure version of the high-altitude pressure suits with a helmet was reinstated when Shuttle flights resumed in 1988. The Launch-Entry Suit ended its service life in late 1995, and was replaced by the full-pressure Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES), which resembled the Gemini space suit in design, but retained the orange color of the Launch-Entry Suit.

To extend the duration that orbiters could stay docked at the ISS, the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) was installed. The SSPTS allowed these orbiters to use power provided by the ISS to preserve their consumables. The SSPTS was first used successfully on STS-118.

Space Shuttle orbiter illustration Space Shuttle drawing Space Shuttle wing cutaway Space Shuttle Orbiter and Soyuz-TM (drawn to scale). Atlantis and Endeavour on launch pads. This particular occasion is due to the final Hubble servicing mission, where the International Space Station is unreachable, which necessitates having a Shuttle on standby for a possible rescue mission.

Orbiter[65] (for Endeavour, OV-105)

The earliest Shuttle flights had the minimum crew of two; many later missions a crew of five. By program end, typically seven people would fly: (commander, pilot, several mission specialists, one of whom (MS-2) acted as the flight engineer starting with STS-9 in 1983). On two occasions, eight astronauts have flown (STS-61-A, STS-71). Eleven people could be accommodated in an emergency mission (see STS-3xx).

External tank (for SLWT)

Solid Rocket Boosters

System Stack

STS mission profile Shuttle launch of Atlantis at sunset in 2001. The Sun is behind the camera, and the plume's shadow intersects the Moon across the sky. See also: Space shuttle launch countdown and Space shuttle launch commit criteria

All Space Shuttle missions were launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The weather criteria used for launch included, but were not limited to: precipitation, temperatures, cloud cover, lightning forecast, wind, and humidity.[70] The Shuttle was not launched under conditions where it could have been struck by lightning. Aircraft are often struck by lightning with no adverse effects because the electricity of the strike is dissipated through its conductive structure and the aircraft is not electrically grounded. Like most jet airliners, the Shuttle was mainly constructed of conductive aluminum, which would normally shield and protect the internal systems. However, upon liftoff the Shuttle sent out a long exhaust plume as it ascended, and this plume could have triggered lightning by providing a current path to ground. The NASA Anvil Rule for a Shuttle launch stated that an anvil cloud could not appear within a distance of 10 nautical miles.[71] The Shuttle Launch Weather Officer monitored conditions until the final decision to scrub a launch was announced. In addition, the weather conditions had to be acceptable at one of the Transatlantic Abort Landing sites (one of several Space Shuttle abort modes) to launch as well as the solid rocket booster recovery area.[70][72] While the Shuttle might have safely endured a lightning strike, a similar strike caused problems on Apollo 12, so for safety NASA chose not to launch the Shuttle if lightning was possible (NPR8715.5).

Historically, the Shuttle was not launched if its flight would run from December to January (a year-end rollover or YERO). Its flight software, designed in the 1970s, was not designed for this, and would require the orbiter's computers be reset through a change of year, which could cause a glitch while in orbit. In 2007, NASA engineers devised a solution so Shuttle flights could cross the year-end boundary.[73]

After the final hold in the countdown at T-minus 9 minutes, the Shuttle went through its final preparations for launch, and the countdown was automatically controlled by the Ground Launch Sequencer (GLS), software at the Launch Control Center, which stopped the count if it sensed a critical problem with any of the Shuttle's onboard systems. The GLS handed off the count to the Shuttle's on-board computers at T minus 31 seconds, in a process called auto sequence start.

At T-minus 16 seconds, the massive sound suppression system (SPS) began to drench the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) and SRB trenches with 300,000 US gallons (1,100 m3) of water to protect the Orbiter from damage by acoustical energy and rocket exhaust reflected from the flame trench and MLP during lift off.[74][75]

At T-minus 10 seconds, hydrogen igniters were activated under each engine bell to quell the stagnant gas inside the cones before ignition. Failure to burn these gases could trip the onboard sensors and create the possibility of an overpressure and explosion of the vehicle during the firing phase. The main engine turbopumps also began charging the combustion chambers with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at this time. The computers reciprocated this action by allowing the redundant computer systems to begin the firing phase.

Space Shuttle Main Engine ignition

The three main engines (SSMEs) started at T-6.6 seconds. The main engines ignited sequentially via the Shuttle's general purpose computers (GPCs) at 120 millisecond intervals. All three SSMEs were required to reach 90% rated thrust within three seconds, otherwise the onboard computers would initiate an RSLS abort. If all three engines indicated nominal performance by T-3 seconds, they were commanded to gimbal to liftoff configuration and the command would be issued to arm the SRBs for ignition at T-0.[76] Between T-6.6 seconds and T-3 seconds, while the SSMEs were firing but the SRBs were still bolted to the pad, the offset thrust caused the entire launch stack (boosters, tank and orbiter) to pitch down 650 mm (25.5 in) measured at the tip of the external tank. The three second delay after confirmation of SSME operation was to allow the stack to return to nearly vertical. At T-0 seconds, the 8 frangible nuts holding the SRBs to the pad were detonated, the SSMEs were commanded to 100% throttle, and the SRBs were ignited. By T+0.23 seconds, the SRBs built up enough thrust for liftoff to commence, and reached maximum chamber pressure by T+0.6 seconds.[77] The Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center assumed control of the flight once the SRBs had cleared the launch tower.

Shortly after liftoff, the Shuttle's main engines were throttled up to 104.5% and the vehicle began a combined roll, pitch and yaw maneuver that placed it onto the correct heading (azimuth) for the planned orbital inclination and in a heads down attitude with wings level. The Shuttle flew upside down during the ascent phase. This orientation allowed a trim angle of attack that was favorable for aerodynamic loads during the region of high dynamic pressure, resulting in a net positive load factor, as well as providing the flight crew with a view of the horizon as a visual reference. The vehicle climbed in a progressively flattening arc, accelerating as the mass of the SRBs and main tank decreased. To achieve low orbit requires much more horizontal than vertical acceleration. This was not visually obvious, since the vehicle rose vertically and was out of sight for most of the horizontal acceleration. The near circular orbital velocity at the 380 kilometers (236 mi) altitude of the International Space Station is 27,650 km/h (17,180 mph), roughly equivalent to Mach 23 at sea level. As the International Space Station orbits at an inclination of 51.6 degrees, missions going there must set orbital inclination to the same value in order to rendezvous with the station.

Around 30 seconds into ascent, the SSMEs were throttled down—usually to 72%, though this varied—to reduce the maximum aerodynamic forces acting on the Shuttle at a point called Max Q. Additionally, the propellant grain design of the SRBs caused their thrust to drop by about 30% by 50 seconds into ascent. Once the Orbiter's guidance verified that Max Q would be within Shuttle structural limits, the main engines were throttled back up to 104.5%; this throttling down and back up was called the "thrust bucket". To maximize performance, the throttle level and timing of the thrust bucket was shaped to bring the Shuttle as close to aerodynamic limits as possible.[78]

Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) separation during STS-1. The white external tank pictured was used on STS-1 and STS-2.

At around T+126 seconds, pyrotechnic fasteners released the SRBs and small separation rockets pushed them laterally away from the vehicle. The SRBs parachuted back to the ocean to be reused. The Shuttle then began accelerating to orbit on the main engines. Acceleration at this point would typically fall to .9 g, and the vehicle would take on a somewhat nose-up angle to the horizon – it used the main engines to gain and then maintain altitude while it accelerated horizontally towards orbit. At about five and three-quarter minutes into ascent, the orbiter's direct communication links with the ground began to fade, at which point it rolled heads up to reroute its communication links to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system.

At about seven and a half minutes into ascent, the mass of the vehicle was low enough that the engines had to be throttled back to limit vehicle acceleration to 3 g (29.4 m/s² or 96.5 ft/s², equivalent to accelerating from zero to 105.9 km/h (65.8 mph) in a second). The Shuttle would maintain this acceleration for the next minute, and main engine cut-off (MECO) occurred at about eight and a half minutes after launch.[79] The main engines were shut down before complete depletion of propellant, as running dry would have destroyed the engines. The oxygen supply was terminated before the hydrogen supply, as the SSMEs reacted unfavorably to other shutdown modes. (Liquid oxygen has a tendency to react violently, and supports combustion when it encounters hot engine metal.) A few seconds after MECO, the external tank was released by firing pyrotechnic fasteners.

At this point the Shuttle and external tank were on a slightly suborbital trajectory, coasting up towards apogee. Once at apogee, about half an hour after MECO, the Shuttle's Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines were fired to raise its perigee and achieve orbit, while the external tank fell back into the atmosphere and burned up over the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean depending on launch profile.[65] The sealing action of the tank plumbing and lack of pressure relief systems on the external tank helped it break up in the lower atmosphere. After the foam burned away during re-entry, the heat caused a pressure buildup in the remaining liquid oxygen and hydrogen until the tank exploded. This ensured that any pieces that fell back to Earth were small.

Ascent tracking Contraves-Goerz Kineto Tracking Mount used to image the space Shuttle during launch ascent Multicolored afterglow of the STS-131 launch

The Shuttle was monitored throughout its ascent for short range tracking (10 seconds before liftoff through 57 seconds after), medium range (7 seconds before liftoff through 110 seconds after) and long range (7 seconds before liftoff through 165 seconds after). Short range cameras included 22 16mm cameras on the Mobile Launch Platform and 8 16mm on the Fixed Service Structure, 4 high speed fixed cameras located on the perimeter of the launch complex plus an additional 42 fixed cameras with 16mm motion picture film. Medium range cameras included remotely operated tracking cameras at the launch complex plus 6 sites along the immediate coast north and south of the launch pad, each with 800mm lens and high speed cameras running 100 frames per second. These cameras ran for only 4–10 seconds due to limitations in the amount of film available. Long range cameras included those mounted on the external tank, SRBs and orbiter itself which streamed live video back to the ground providing valuable information about any debris falling during ascent. Long range tracking cameras with 400-inch film and 200-inch video lenses were operated by a photographer at Playalinda Beach as well as 9 other sites from 38 miles north at the Ponce Inlet to 23 miles south to Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) and additional mobile optical tracking camera was stationed on Merritt Island during launches. A total of 10 HD cameras were used both for ascent information for engineers and broadcast feeds to networks such as NASA TV and HDNet. The number of cameras significantly increased and numerous existing cameras were upgraded at the recommendation of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board to provide better information about the debris during launch. Debris was also tracked using a pair of Weibel Continuous Pulse Doppler X-band radars, one on board the SRB recovery ship MV Liberty Star positioned north east of the launch pad and on a ship positioned south of the launch pad. Additionally, during the first 2 flights following the loss of Columbia and her crew, a pair of NASA WB-57 reconnaissance aircraft equipped with HD Video and Infrared flew at 60,000 feet (18,000 m) to provide additional views of the launch ascent.[80] Kennedy Space Center also invested nearly $3 million in improvements to the digital video analysis systems in support of debris tracking.[81]

Once in orbit, the Shuttle usually flew at an altitude of 320 km (170 nmi) and occasionally as high as 650 km (350 nmi).[82] In the 1980s and 1990s, many flights involved space science missions on the NASA/ESA Spacelab, or launching various types of satellites and science probes. By the 1990s and 2000s the focus shifted more to servicing the space station, with fewer satellite launches. Most missions involved staying in orbit several days to two weeks, although longer missions were possible with the Extended Duration Orbiter add-on or when attached to a space station.

Almost the entire Space Shuttle re-entry procedure, except for lowering the landing gear and deploying the air data probes, was normally performed under computer control. However, the re-entry could be flown entirely manually if an emergency arose. The approach and landing phase could be controlled by the autopilot, but was usually hand flown.

Glowing plasma trail from Space Shuttle Atlantis re-entry as seen from the Space Station

The vehicle began re-entry by firing the Orbital maneuvering system engines, while flying upside down, backside first, in the opposite direction to orbital motion for approximately three minutes, which reduced the Shuttle's velocity by about 200 mph (322 km/h). The resultant slowing of the Shuttle lowered its orbital perigee down into the upper atmosphere. The Shuttle then flipped over, by pushing its nose down (which was actually "up" relative to the Earth, because it was flying upside down). This OMS firing was done roughly halfway around the globe from the landing site.

The vehicle started encountering more significant air density in the lower thermosphere at about 400,000 ft (120 km), at around Mach 25, 8,200 m/s (30,000 km/h; 18,000 mph). The vehicle was controlled by a combination of RCS thrusters and control surfaces, to fly at a 40-degree nose-up attitude, producing high drag, not only to slow it down to landing speed, but also to reduce reentry heating. As the vehicle encountered progressively denser air, it began a gradual transition from spacecraft to aircraft. In a straight line, its 40-degree nose-up attitude would cause the descent angle to flatten-out, or even rise. The vehicle therefore performed a series of four steep S-shaped banking turns, each lasting several minutes, at up to 70 degrees of bank, while still maintaining the 40-degree angle of attack. In this way it dissipated speed sideways rather than upwards. This occurred during the 'hottest' phase of re-entry, when the heat-shield glowed red and the G-forces were at their highest. By the end of the last turn, the transition to aircraft was almost complete. The vehicle leveled its wings, lowered its nose into a shallow dive and began its approach to the landing site.

The orbiter's maximum glide ratio/lift-to-drag ratio varies considerably with speed, ranging from 1:1 at hypersonic speeds, 2:1 at supersonic speeds and reaching 4.5:1 at subsonic speeds during approach and landing.[83]

In the lower atmosphere, the orbiter flies much like a conventional glider, except for a much higher descent rate, over 50 m/s (180 km/h; 110 mph) or 9,800 fpm. At approximately Mach 3, two air data probes, located on the left and right sides of the orbiter's forward lower fuselage, are deployed to sense air pressure related to the vehicle's movement in the atmosphere.

Final approach and landing phase Play media STS-127, Space Shuttle Endeavour landing video, 2009

When the approach and landing phase began, the orbiter was at a 3,000 m (9,800 ft) altitude, 12 km (7.5 mi) from the runway. The pilots applied aerodynamic braking to help slow down the vehicle. The orbiter's speed was reduced from 682 to 346 km/h (424 to 215 mph), approximately, at touch-down (compared to 260 km/h or 160 mph for a jet airliner). The landing gear was deployed while the Orbiter was flying at 430 km/h (270 mph). To assist the speed brakes, a 12 m (39 ft) drag chute was deployed either after main gear or nose gear touchdown (depending on selected chute deploy mode) at about 343 km/h (213 mph). The chute was jettisoned once the orbiter slowed to 110 km/h (68.4 mph).

Media related to Landings of space Shuttles at Wikimedia Commons

Main article: Orbiter Processing Facility Discovery after landing on Earth for crew disembarkment

After landing, the vehicle stayed on the runway for several hours for the orbiter to cool. Teams at the front and rear of the orbiter tested for presence of hydrogen, hydrazine, monomethylhydrazine, nitrogen tetroxide and ammonia (fuels and by-products of the reaction control system and the orbiter's three APUs). If hydrogen was detected, an emergency would be declared, the orbiter powered down and teams would evacuate the area. A convoy of 25 specially designed vehicles and 150 trained engineers and technicians approached the orbiter. Purge and vent lines were attached to remove toxic gases from fuel lines and the cargo bay about 45–60 minutes after landing. A flight surgeon boarded the orbiter for initial medical checks of the crew before disembarking. Once the crew left the orbiter, responsibility for the vehicle was handed from the Johnson Space Center back to the Kennedy Space Center.[84]

If the mission ended at Edwards Air Force Base in California, White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, or any of the runways the orbiter might use in an emergency, the orbiter was loaded atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified 747, for transport back to the Kennedy Space Center, landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Once at the Shuttle Landing Facility, the orbiter was then towed 2 miles (3.2 km) along a tow-way and access roads normally used by tour buses and KSC employees to the Orbiter Processing Facility where it began a months-long preparation process for the next mission.[84]

See also: List of space shuttle landing runways Atlantis deploys the landing gear before landing.

NASA preferred Space Shuttle landings to be at Kennedy Space Center.[85] If weather conditions made landing there unfavorable, the Shuttle could delay its landing until conditions are favorable, touch down at Edwards Air Force Base, California, or use one of the multiple alternate landing sites around the world. A landing at any site other than Kennedy Space Center meant that after touchdown the Shuttle must be mated to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and returned to Cape Canaveral. Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-3) once landed at the White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico; this was viewed as a last resort as NASA scientists believed that the sand could potentially damage the Shuttle's exterior.

There were many alternative landing sites that were never used.[86][87]

Discovery at ISS in 2011 (STS-133)

An example of technical risk analysis for a STS mission is SPRA iteration 3.1 top risk contributors for STS-133:[88][89]

  1. Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) strikes
  2. Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME)-induced or SSME catastrophic failure
  3. Ascent debris strikes to TPS leading to LOCV on orbit or entry
  4. Crew error during entry
  5. RSRM-induced RSRM catastrophic failure (RSRM are the rocket motors of the SRBs)
  6. COPV failure (COPV are tanks inside the orbiter that hold gas at high pressure)

An internal NASA risk assessment study (conducted by the Shuttle Program Safety and Mission Assurance Office at Johnson Space Center) released in late 2010 or early 2011 concluded that the agency had seriously underestimated the level of risk involved in operating the Shuttle. The report assessed that there was a 1 in 9 chance of a catastrophic disaster during the first nine flights of the Shuttle but that safety improvements had later improved the risk ratio to 1 in 90.[90]

Main article: List of Space Shuttle missions

Below is a list of major events in the Space Shuttle orbiter fleet.

OV-101 Enterprise takes flight for the first time over Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, California in 1977 as part of the Shuttle program's Approach and Landing Tests (ALT). Atlantis lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the STS-132 mission to the International Space Station at 2:20 pm EDT on May 14, 2010. This was one of the last scheduled flights for Atlantis before it was retired.

Sources: NASA launch manifest,[94] NASA Space Shuttle archive[95]

Main articles: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

On January 28, 1986, Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch due to the failure of the right SRB, killing all seven astronauts on board. The disaster was caused by low-temperature impairment of an O-ring, a mission critical seal used between segments of the SRB casing. Failure of the O-ring allowed hot combustion gases to escape from between the booster sections and burn through the adjacent external tank, causing it to explode.[96] Repeated warnings from design engineers voicing concerns about the lack of evidence of the O-rings' safety when the temperature was below 53 °F (12 °C) had been ignored by NASA managers.[97]

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing its crew of seven, because of damage to the carbon-carbon leading edge of the wing caused during launch. Ground control engineers had made three separate requests for high-resolution images taken by the Department of Defense that would have provided an understanding of the extent of the damage, while NASA's chief thermal protection system (TPS) engineer requested that astronauts on board Columbia be allowed to leave the vehicle to inspect the damage. NASA managers intervened to stop the Department of Defense's assistance and refused the request for the spacewalk,[98] and thus the feasibility of scenarios for astronaut repair or rescue by Atlantis were not considered by NASA management at the time.[99]

Main article: Space Shuttle retirement Atlantis orbiter's final welcome home, 2011

NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011, after 30 years of service. The Shuttle was originally conceived of and presented to the public as a "Space Truck", which would, among other things, be used to build a United States space station in low earth orbit in the early 1990s. When the US space station evolved into the International Space Station project, which suffered from long delays and design changes before it could be completed, the retirement of the Space Shuttle was delayed several times until 2011, serving at least 15 years longer than originally planned. Discovery was the first of NASA's three remaining operational Space Shuttles to be retired.[100]

The final Space Shuttle mission was originally scheduled for late 2010, but the program was later extended to July 2011 when Michael Suffredini of the ISS program said that one additional trip was needed in 2011 to deliver parts to the International Space Station.[101] The Shuttle's final mission consisted of just four astronauts—Christopher Ferguson (Commander), Douglas Hurley (Pilot), Sandra Magnus (Mission Specialist 1), and Rex Walheim (Mission Specialist 2);[102] they conducted the 135th and last space Shuttle mission on board Atlantis, which launched on July 8, 2011, and landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011, at 5:57 AM EDT (09:57 UTC).[103] The U.S. has since relied on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Program commemorative patch

NASA announced it would transfer orbiters to education institutions or museums at the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program. Each museum or institution is responsible for covering the US$28.8 million cost of preparing and transporting each vehicle for display. Twenty museums from across the country submitted proposals for receiving one of the retired orbiters.[104] NASA also made Space Shuttle thermal protection system tiles available to schools and universities for less than US$25 each.[105] About 7,000 tiles were available on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to one per institution.[105]

On April 12, 2011, NASA announced selection of locations for the remaining Shuttle orbiters:[106][107]

Endeavour at Los Angeles International Airport

In August 2011, the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a "Review of NASA's Selection of Display Locations for the Space Shuttle Orbiters"; the review had four main findings:[108]

The NASA OIG had three recommendations, saying NASA should:[108]

In September 2011, the CEO and two board members of Seattle's Museum of Flight met with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, pointing out "significant errors in deciding where to put its four retiring Space Shuttles"; the errors alleged include inaccurate information on Museum of Flight's attendance and international visitor statistics, as well as the readiness of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum's exhibit site.[109]

Flight and mid-deck training hardware will be taken from the Johnson Space Center and will go to the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The full fuselage mockup, which includes the payload bay and aft section but no wings, is to go to the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Mission Simulation and Training Facility's fixed simulator will go to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and the motion simulator will go to the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Department in College Station, Texas. Other simulators used in Shuttle astronaut training will go to the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum in Starke, Florida and the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia.[104]

Main article: Space Shuttle retirement STS conducted numerous experiments in space, such as this ionization experiment Sprint cameras, tested by the Shuttle, may be used on ISS and other missions

Until another US manned spacecraft is ready, crews will travel to and from the International Space Station (ISS) exclusively aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

A planned successor to STS was the "Shuttle II", during the 1980s and 1990s, and later the Constellation program during the 2004–2010 period. CSTS was a proposal to continue to operate STS commercially, after NASA.[112] In September 2011, NASA announced the selection of the design for the new Space Launch System that is planned to launch the Orion spacecraft and other hardware to missions beyond low earth-orbit.[113][114][115]

The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program began in 2006 with the purpose of creating commercially operated unmanned cargo vehicles to service the ISS.[116] The Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program was started in 2010 to create commercially operated manned spacecraft capable of delivering at least four crew members to the ISS, to stay docked for 180 days, and then return them back to Earth.[117] These spacecraft were to become operational in the 2010s.[118]

Space Shuttles have been features of fiction and nonfiction, from children's movies to documentaries. Early examples include the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, the 1982 Activision videogame Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space (1982) and G. Harry Stine's 1981 novel Shuttle Down. In the 1986 film SpaceCamp, Atlantis accidentally launches into space with a group of U.S. Space Camp participants as its crew. A space shuttle named Intrepid is featured in the 1989 film Moontrap.

The 1998 film Armageddon portrays a combined crew of offshore oil rig workers and US military staff who pilot two modified Shuttles to avert the destruction of Earth by an asteroid. Retired American test pilots visit a Russian satellite in the 2000 Clint Eastwood adventure film Space Cowboys. In the 2003 film The Core, the Endeavour's landing is disrupted by the Earth's magnetic core, and its crew is selected to pilot a vehicle designed to restart the core. The 2004 Bollywood movie Swades, where a Space Shuttle is used to launch a special rainfall monitoring satellite, was filmed at Kennedy Space Center in the year after the Columbia disaster that had taken the life of Indian-American astronaut KC Chawla.

On television, the 1996 drama The Cape portrays the lives of a group of NASA astronauts as they prepare for and fly Shuttle missions. Odyssey 5 was a short-lived sci-fi series that features the crew of a Space Shuttle as the last survivors of a disaster that destroys Earth. The 1997–2007 sci-fi series Stargate SG-1 has a shuttle rescue written into an episode.

The 2013 film Gravity features the fictional Space Shuttle Explorer during STS-157, whose crew are killed or left stranded after it is destroyed by a shower of high speed orbital debris. The 2017 Lego film The Lego Batman Movie features a hybrid between the Batmobile and a Space Shuttle, named "the Bat Space Shuttle" by Dick Grayson. It's clearly based on the Lego City set 3367 ("Space Shuttle"), but is black and weapon-equipped.

A United States Space Shuttle stamp

The Space Shuttle has also been the subject of toys and models; for example, a large Lego Space Shuttle model was constructed by visitors at Kennedy Space Center,[119] and smaller models have been sold commercially as a standard "LegoLand" set. A 1980 pinball machine Space Shuttle was produced by Zaccaria and a 1984 pinball machine Space Shuttle: Pinball Adventure was produced by Williams and features a plastic Space Shuttle model among other artwork of astronauts on the play field. The Space Shuttle also appears in a number of flight simulator and space flight simulator games such as Microsoft Space Simulator, Orbiter, FlightGear, X-Plane and Space Shuttle Mission 2007. Several Transformers toys were modeled after the Space Shuttle.

Main article: U.S. space exploration history on U.S. stamps § Space Shuttle Issues

The U.S. Postal Service has released several postage issues that depict the Space Shuttle. The first such stamps were issued in 1981, and are on display at the National Postal Museum.[120]

Space Shuttle program insignia

Airport Limousine Service

Cheap Private Transportation Services A car rapide share taxi in Senegal

A share taxi (also called shared taxi) is a mode of transport which falls between a taxicab and a bus. These vehicles for hire are typically smaller than buses and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, but instead departing when all seats are filled. They may stop anywhere to pick up or drop off their passengers. Often found in developing countries,[1] the vehicles used as share taxis range from four-seat cars to minibuses.[2] They are often owner-operated.

The UITP term "informal transport" includes share taxis.

A given share taxi route may start and finish in fixed central locations, and landmarks may serve as route names or route termini. In some African cities routes are run between formal termini,[3] where the majority[4] of passengers board.[3] In these places the share taxis wait for a full load of passengers prior to departing, and off-peak wait times may be in excess of an hour.[3]

In other places there may be no formal termini, with taxis simply congregating at a central location,[5] instead.

Even more-formal terminals may be little more than parking lots.[6]

In South Africa, its also referred to as a rank, which denotes an area specifically built, by a municipality or city, for taxi operators, where commuters may start and end their journey.[7]

Where they exist, share taxis provide service on set routes within and sometimes between towns.

After a share taxi has picked up passengers at its terminus, it proceeds along a semi-fixed route where the driver may determine the actual route within an area according to traffic condition. Drivers will stop anywhere to allow riders to disembark, and may sometimes do the same when prospective passengers want to ride.

While all share taxis share certain characteristics—and many regional versions exhibit peculiarities—some basic operational distinctions can be delineated.

Most share taxis are operated under one of two regimes. Some share taxis are operated by a company. For example, in Dakar there are company-owned fleets of hundred of car rapides.[8] In Soviet Union, share taxis, known as marshrutka, were operated by state-owned taxi parks.[9] There are also individual operators in many countries. In Africa, while there are company share taxis, individual owners are more common. Rarely owning more than two vehicles at a time, they will rent out a minibus to operators, who pay fuel and other running costs, and keep revenue.[8]

In some places, like some African cities and also Hong Kong, share taxi minibuses are overseen by syndicates, unions, or route associations.[10] These groups often function in the absence of a regulatory environment[3] and may collect dues or fees from drivers[11] (such as per-use terminal payments,[12] sometimes illegally), set routes,[12] manage terminals, and fix fares.[3] Terminal management may include ensuring each vehicle leaves with a full load of passengers.[3][12]

Because the syndicates represent owners, their regulatory efforts tend to favor operators rather than passengers,[12] and the very termini syndicates upkeep can cost delays and money for passengers as well as forcing them to disembark at inconvenient locations, in a phenomenon called "terminal constraint".[13]

In Africa, regulation is mainly something that pertains to the vehicle itself[14] not its operator[14] or its mode of operation.[citation needed]

In Kenya, regulation does extend to operators[15][16] and mode of operation (such as routes used)[citation needed] as well as the vehicle[17]

As of 2008, African minibuses are difficult to tax,[11] and may operate in a "regulatory vacuum" perhaps because their existence is not part of a government scheme, but is simply a market response to a growing demand for such services.[8] Route syndicates[18] and operator's associations[13] often exercise unrestricted control, and existing rules may see little enforcement.[18]

Share taxi is a unique mode of transport independent of vehicle type. Minibuses,[11] midibuses, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, and lorries see use as share taxis.

Certain vehicle types may be better-suited to current condition than others. In many traffic-choked, sprawling, and low-density African cities minibuses profit.[11]

In Israel they were mostly the largest model of Mercedes, owned generally by Arabs, and very efficient, having space for 7-8 people, and having loosely fixed routes, dropping a passenger either at a specific terminus or going a little out of way to facilitate the passenger.

While carrying different names and distinguished by regional peculiarities, the share taxi is an everyday feature of life in many places throughout the world.

An Angkot in Bandung, West Java A three-wheeler Bemo in Jakarta. It also serves as a share taxi like Angkots

Angkutan Kota abbreviated Angkot or Mikrolet are share taxis in Indonesia widely operating throughout the country usually with Mini vans. In some places there are also three-wheelers which are called Bemo (such as autorickshaws based on the Daihatsu Midget). The older version of Angkot is called Oplet. The name of this transportation differs from each different province or area in the country. In Jakarta, it is called Angkot, in other parts such as in Sulawesi, the term Mikrolet shortened Mikro is more widely used especially in Manado. In Makassar it is called "Pete-Pete", in Malang it is called "Angkota", in Medan it is called "Sudako".

It runs accordingly with its exact routes and passengers can stop the van anywhere according to its destination, and is not required to stop at a bus stop or station.

In some towns in Northern Ireland, notably certain districts in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry and Newry, share taxi services operate using Hackney carriages and are called black taxis. These services developed during The Troubles as public bus services were often interrupted due to street rioting. Taxi collectives are closely linked with political groups – those operating in Catholic areas with Sinn Féin, those in Protestant areas with loyalist paramilitaries and their political wings.

Typically, fares approximate to those of Translink operated bus services on the same route. Service frequencies are typically higher than on bus services, especially at peak times, although limited capacities mean that passengers living close to the termini may find it difficult to find a black taxi with seats available in the rush hour.

A Toyota Corolla estate bush taxi

Three main vehicle types are used as bush taxis (French taxi brousse, Mandinka tanka tanka): the station wagon, the minibus, and the lorry. Many are previously owned vehicles imported from Europe or Japan; others are assembled from parts in regional centres such as Nigeria or Kenya. The original seating of the vehicles is usually stripped out in order to fit benches with more passenger space. In addition, more people generally sit on each bench than would be the case in more-developed countries. They are often in poor condition, though wealthier countries tend to have better-maintained vehicles.

In the past, most station-wagon bush taxis were modified 1980s-model Peugeot 504s. In some countries they are known as "five-seaters" or "seven-seaters" (French sept-place), but in fact, they may seat nine passengers or more in three rows of seats. Other models, such as the Peugeot 505 or the Toyota Corolla have since supplanted the 504 in some countries, and are gaining ground in others.

The bush taxi, a type of public light bus frequently used in West-Africa

Typically two passengers are seated on the front seat next to the driver, and four passengers in each of the two back rows. Sometimes, in particular on less-frequented routes, bush taxis are more crowded, and passengers might even sit on the roof or the boot. Bush taxis in wealthier countries tend to be less crowded. For example, in Nigeria bush taxis (of both the station wagon or minibus type) are called three-across or four-across according to the number of passengers seated in each row.

The minibus (a van-like vehicle seating 12 to 20 passengers; French minicar) is quickly becoming the most common type of bush taxi in West and Central Africa, especially for longer trips. Due to the vehicles' larger size, drivers often employ a helper who rides in the back of the vehicle and tells the driver when to stop to let people off, and helps load and unload baggage. Minibuses tend to travel slower than cars, and they take longer to fill up and to pass through police checkpoints. These vehicles generally charge more than standard buses but less than Peugeot-type bush taxis. Frequently used models in West-Africa are the Renault Super Goélette, the Saviem Super Goelette 2, and the Isuzu Kitamura minibus. The Goelette is also used frequently in Vietnam and Madagascar as a share taxi.[19]

Lorries are also used as bush taxis (French bâché): they are normal lorries (trucks) with benches along the sides of the bed for passengers. There is often a cover for the bed as well. Lorries are more robustly made (and give a rougher ride) than purpose-built passenger vehicles; routes over worse roads and to more remote areas are often serviced by lorries.

Carros Públicos (literally "Public Cars") are share taxis in the Dominican Republic[20] and Puerto Rico.[21]

In the Dominican Republic, these privately owned vehicles[22] run fixed routes[20][22] with no designated stops, and the ride is shared with other passengers.[20]

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against traveling in Dominican Republic carros públicos because doing so makes passengers targets for robbery, and because the taxis are known to, "disregard traffic laws, often resulting in serious accidents involving injuries and sometimes death."[23] The US Department of State also warns that using them is hazardous, as passengers often have their pockets picked, and are sometimes robbed by the drivers themselves.[22]

In Puerto Rico, carros públicos ply set routes with several passengers sharing the ride[24] and others picked up throughout the journey.[21]

The industry is regulated by the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission.[5]

While these cars do travel inter-city, they may not be available for longer, cross-island travel.[5] Stations may exist in cities, and Puerto Rican carros públicos may congregate in specific places around town.[5]

Minibus public transports in Rwanda may be called coaster buses,[25] share taxis, or twegerane.[10] The latter could easily be a word meaning "stuffed" or "full".[25]

As of 2011 in Kigali, Rwanda, syndicates include ATRACO and ONATRACOM,[10] but an independent transport authority is absent.[26]

Colectivos operated as share taxis from the late 1920s until the 1950s in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they were integrated into the public transportation system. Vehicles still known as colectivos operate throughout the country, but have long been indistinguishable from buses.[27]

Main article: Dala-dala A dala dala in the city of Dar es Salaam

Minivans (minibuses may be a more correct term here) are used as vehicles for hire and referred to as dala dala in Tanzania.[28] While dala dala may run fixed routes picking up passengers at central locations, they will also stop along the route to drop someone off or allow a prospective passenger to board.[28] Before minibuses became widely used, the typical dala dala was a pick-up truck with benches placed in the truck bed.[29]

In Dar es Salaam, publicly operated minibus service may also exist as of 2008.[10]

Usually run by both a driver and a conductor,[28] the latter is called a mpigadebe, literally meaning "a person who hits a debe" (a 4-gallon tin container used for transporting gasoline or water). The name is in reference to the fact that conductors are often hitting the roof and side of the van to attract customers and notify the driver when to leave the station.

These often-crowded[28] public transports have their routes allocated by a Tanzania transport regulator, Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA),[30] but syndicates also exist and include DARCOBOA.[10]

Play media Play media The danfo share taxi and molue minibuses are iconic of transport in Lagos, Nigeria.

In Nigeria, both minibuses (called danfo[31]) and midibuses (molue)[10] may be operated as share taxis. Such public transports may also be referred to as bolekaja, and many may bear slogans or sayings.[Thompson 1]

Lagos, Nigeria, has a transport-dedicated regulator, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Agency (LAMATA),[26] its remit most probably includes share taxi activity.[citation needed] Outside of Lagos, most major cities in Africa have similar systems of transport.[32]

Syndicates in Lagos may include National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW).[10]

Karsan-built Peugeot J9 Premier dolmuş in Bodrum, Turkey

In Turkey and Turkish controlled Northern Cyprus dolmuş (pronounced "dolmush") are share taxis that run on set routes within and between cities.[33] Each of these cars or minibuses displays their particular route on signboards behind the windscreen.[33]

Some cities may only allow dolmuş to pick up and disembark passengers at designated stops, and terminals also exist.[33] The word derives from Turkish for "full" or "stuffed", as these share taxis depart from the terminal only when a sufficient number of passengers have boarded.[34] Visitors to Turkey have been surprised by the speed of dolmuş travel.[35]

These share taxis are also found in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus under the same name.[34] Traveling intra and inter-city, the privately owned minibuses or aging Mercedes stretch limos are overseen by a governance institution; routes are leased and vehicles licensed.[34] Passengers board anywhere along the route (you may have to get the driver to stop if he doesn't honk at you) as well as at termini and official stations.[34] Dolmuş in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus display their routes but don't follow timetables. Instead, they simply appear frequently.[34]

Those in Kinshasa, DRC, (or perhaps just the Kongo people) may call share taxis fula fula meaning "quick quick".[Thompson 2]

There was no independent transport authority in the city of Kinshasa as of 2008.[26]

In Côte d'Ivoire, gbaka are a name for minibus public transports.[10]

The transport regulator in Abidjan, CI, is Agence de Gestion des Transports Urbains[26] or AGETU.[18]

As of 2008, Abidjan public transport was serviced by large buses as well as minibuses.[36]

Syndicates include UPETCA, SNTMVCI.[10]

In Morocco, grands taxis are the name for large, unmetered, shared taxicabs used for transportation between towns.[37] Grands taxis are generally old full-size Mercedes-Benz sedans, and seat six or more passengers.[37]

A typical jeepney Main article: Jeepney

The most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines as of 2007,[38] jeepneys were originally made out of US military jeeps left over from World War II[39] and are known for their color and flamboyant decoration.[38] Today the jeepneys are built by local body shops from a combination of prefabricated elements (from handful Filipino manufacturers) and improvisation and in most cases equipped with "surplus" or used Japanese SUV or light truck engines, drive train, suspension and steering components (from recycled vehicles in Japan).

They have not changed much since their post-war creation, even in the face of an increased access to pre-made vehicles, such as minibuses.[citation needed]

Jeepneys have the entrance on the back, and there is space for two people beside the driver (or more if they are small). The back of the Jeepney is equipped with two long bench seats along the sides and the people seated closest to the driver are responsible for passing the fare of new passengers forward to the driver and the change back to the passenger. The start and end point of the Jeepney route is often a Jeepney terminal, where there is a queue system so only one Jeepney plying a particular route is filled at a time, and where a person helps the driver to collect fares and fill the vehicles with people, usually to more than comfortable capacity.

Preferring to leave only when full and only stop for a crowd of potential passengers,[40] riders can nonetheless disembark at any time;[41] and while jeepneys ply fixed routes,[38] these may be subject to change over time.[42] New ones may need approval from a Philippine transport regulator.[43] Jeepney stations do exist.[44]

Main article: Dollar van

Jitney is an American English term that originally referred to a vehicle for hire intermediate between a taxi and a bus.[45] They are generally small-capacity vehicles that follow a rough service route, but can go slightly out of their way to pick up and drop off passengers. In many US cities (e.g. Pittsburgh and Detroit), the term jitney refers to an unlicensed taxi cab.

The name comes from an archaic, colloquial term for a five-cent piece in the US (the nickel). The common fare for the service when it first came into use was five cents, so the "five-cent cab" or "jitney cab" came to be known for the price charged.

In Rhode Island a jitney license plate is used for all public passenger buses, even for larger ones.

Jitney in Atlantic City, United States in 2008

While jitneys became fairly common in many other countries, such as the Philippines, they first appeared in the US and Canada. The first US jitneys ran in 1914 in Los Angeles, California. By 1915, there were 62,000 nationwide. Local regulations, demanded by streetcar companies, killed the jitney in most places. By the end of 1916, only 6,000 jitneys remained.[46] Similarly, in Vancouver, Canada, in the 1920s, jitneys competed directly with the streetcar monopoly operating along the same routes as the streetcars, but jitneys were charging lower fares.[47] Operators were referred to as "jitney men." They were so successful that the city government banned them at the request of the streetcar operators.

Since the 1973 oil crisis (as well as the mid-20th-century decline in transit service), jitneys have reappeared in some areas of the US, particularly in inner city areas once served by streetcars and private buses. An increase in bus fares usually leads to a significant rise in jitney usage. Liberalization of jitneys is often encouraged by libertarian urban economists, such as University of Chicago's Richard Epstein, Rutgers' James Dunn, and USC's Peter Gordon, as a more "market-friendly" alternative to public transportation. Concerns over fares, insurance liabilities, and passenger safety have kept legislative support for jitneys decidedly tepid. Nevertheless, in New York City and northern New Jersey, jitneys (known as "dollar vans" because of their original price) are regulated.

Miami has the country's most comprehensive jitney network, due to Caribbean influence. In Atlanta jitneys run along Buford Highway.

In Atlantic City the ACJA operates a jitney service that travels the main strip of casinos. One of the routes also services the new cluster of casinos west of Atlantic City proper.

In 2009, the Houston Waves, Houston's first jitney service in 17 years, started running. It has expanded into a network of buses operating within Loop 610 and to all special event venues in Houston.

The term kia kia may be used in Yorùbáland to refer to minibus public transports, and means "quick quick".[Thompson 1]

Share taxis in Estonia are mostly found in Tallinn, the capital.[citation needed] Called liinitakso, marsruuttakso, taksobuss or mikroautobuss depending on the language spoken, these minibuses run fixed routes and allow passengers to disembark at any time.[48]

Share taxis in Tunisia are called louage and follow fixed or semi-fixed routes, departing from stations when full.[49] Usually minibuses or compact cars,[49] although some louage are station wagons,[50] passengers may board and disembark at any point during travel.[49]

They run between towns and within cities.[49]

Four marshrutkas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Main article: Marshrutka

Marshrutka[1][51] or marshrutnoe taksi[52] are share taxis found in Eastern Europe[1][51] and the republics of the former Soviet Union.[53] Usually vans,[1] they drive along set routes, usually depart only when all seats are filled,[51][53] and may have higher fares than buses.[1][53] Passengers can board a marshrutka anywhere along its route if there are seats available.[51][53]

As fares are usually paid before the marshrutka leaves,[53][54] which seat you choose can have consequences. Riders nearer the driver are responsible for handing up the other passengers' fares and passing back change.[53][54]

In Lithuania, share taxis are called maršrutinis taksi.

Main article: Matatu

In Kenya, Uganda, and neighboring nations[55][56][57] matatu are privately owned[58] minibuses,[17] although pick-up trucks were in the past pressed into service[55] as these East African public transports whose decoration often features portraits of the famous.[16][59] Slogans and sayings also appear,[60] some religious.[59][60] In addition to a driver, matatu may be staffed by a tout,[58] conductor,[15][61][62] or porter.[63]

They may ply set routes,[64] display this route,[61] run from termini,[17][65] run both inter and intra-city,[64][66] and may stop along said route to purchase or collect money from passengers.

As of 1999, matatu could have been the only form of public transport in Nairobi, Kenya,[58] but this may not have been the case in 2006[64] and 2008.[67] As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, may only be serviced by minibuses.[67]

The name is a Swahili colloquialism,[56] and were it convenient,[citation needed] passengers could even pay for their journeys via cell phone.[68] The name is literally a conjugation of the word "three", and derives from their original price, three shillings "mashilingi matatu".

In Kenya, this industry is regulated,[58] and such minibuses must, by law, be fitted with seatbelts[17] and speed governors.[15][17] Present regulation may not be sufficient deterrent to prevent small infractions[61] as even decoration may be prohibited.[15] Kenya has one of the "most extensive regulatory controls to market entry",[13] and a matatu worker can be pulled from the streets simply for sporting too loud a shirt.[16]

As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, has no independent transport authority,[26] but transport is authorised by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA).[3] In Kampala the informal vehicles are called taxis. [4]

Egyptian share cabs are generally known as micro-bus (mekrobass ميكروباص or mašrūʿ مشروع, "project"; plural mekrobassāt ميكروباصات or mašarīʿ مشاريع). The second name is used by Alexandrians.

Micro-buses are licensed by each governorate as taxicabs, and are generally operated privately by their drivers. Although each governorate attempts to maintain a consistent paint scheme for them, in practice the color of them varies wildly, as the "consistent" schemes have changed from time to time and many drivers have not bothered to repaint their cars.

Rates vary depending on distance traveled, although these rates are generally well known to those riding the micro-bus. The fares also depend on the city. Riders can typically hail micro-buses from any point along the route, often with well-established hand signals indicating the prospective rider's destination, although certain areas tend to be well-known micro-bus stops.

Like the Eastern European marshrutka, a typical micro-bus is a large van, most often a Toyota HiAce or its Jinbei equivalent, the Haise, and the latter is produced by the Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Group in 6th of October City in Egypt. Smaller vans and larger small buses are also used.

Sharing ajans in Tehran

In Iran a share taxi is usually called "taxi", while a non-share is called "ajans"/اژانس, pronounced [aʒans]. Four passengers share a taxi and sometimes there is no terminus and they wait in the street side and blare their destination to all taxies until one of them stops. These are regular taxies but if somebody wants to get a non-share taxi he can call for an ajans (taxi service) for himself or wait in the street side and say 'DARBAST' (which means non-share). It means he is not interested in sharing the taxi and is consequently willing to pay more for the privilege.

Minibuses, in the past years, with a capacity of 18 passengers, and nowadays van taxies, with a capacity of 10 passengers are other kinds of share transport in Iran.[69]

Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa. They are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more-traditional taxicabs because they are generally cheap, operate on diverse routes, and are available in abundance. All minibus taxis in Ethiopia have a standard blue-and-white coloring scheme, much like the yellow color of New York taxis except it isn't yellow. Minibus taxis are usually Toyota Hiaces, frequent the streets. They typically can carry 11 passengers, but will always have room for another until that is no longer the case. The minibus driver has a crew member called a weyala, and his job is to collect the fare from passengers.

In 2008, publicly operated public transport was available in Addis Ababa in addition to that provided by the minibuses.[67] A fleet of 350 large buses may operate for this purpose,[citation needed] as such a number does exist.[36] Also as of 2008, the city lacks an independent transport authority,[26] but some regulation, such as that controlling market entry, does exist.[13]

Route syndicates may be a presence but are described as "various".[10]

Cape Town minibus taxi rank See also: Taxi wars in South Africa

Over 60% of South African commuters use shared minibus taxis (16 seater commuter buses).

Many of these vehicles are unsafe and not roadworthy, and often dangerously overloaded.[citation needed]

Prior to 1987, the taxi industry in South Africa was highly regulated and controlled.[citation needed] Black taxi operators were declined permits in the Apartheid era and all minibus taxi operations were, by their very nature, illegal.

Post 1987, the industry was rapidly deregulated, leading to an influx of new minibus taxi operators, keen to make money off the high demand for this service. Taxi operators banded together to form local and national associations. Because the industry was largely unregulated and the official regulating bodies corrupt,[citation needed] these associations soon engaged in anti-competitive price fixing and exhibited gangster tactics – including the hiring of hit-men and all-out gang warfare.[70] During the height of the conflict, it was not uncommon for taxi drivers to carry shotguns and AK-47s to simply shoot rival taxi drivers and their passengers on sight.[citation needed]

Currently the South African Government is attempting to formalize and re-regulate the out-of-control minibus taxi industry. Along with new legislation, the government has instituted a 7-year recapitalization scheme to replace the old and unroadworthy vehicles with new 18- and 35-seater minibuses. These new minibus taxis carry the South African flag on the side and are notably more spacious and safe.

A public light bus (left) and a double-decker bus (right) in Hong Kong. Main article: Public light bus

Public light buses (Chinese: 公共小型巴士), also known as minibus or maxicab (Chinese: 小巴), run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas which the standard bus lines cannot or do not reach as frequently, quickly or directly.

Typically offering a faster and more efficient transportation solution due to their small size, limited carrying capacity, frequency and diverse range of routes, although they are generally slightly more expensive than standard buses, minibuses carry a maximum of 16 seated passengers. Standing passengers are not allowed.

There are two types of public light minibus, green and red. Both types have a cream-coloured body, the distinguishing feature being the colour of the external roof, and the type of service that the colour denotes: green is like regular transit bus with fixed number, route, schedule and fare (but generally not fixed stops); red is a shared taxi, operating on semi-fixed route unregulated, with the driver waiting for enough passengers to justify leaving, as his income depends on the revenue.

In Guatemala, ruleteros, minibus share taxis, pick up and discharge passengers along major streets.[71][72]

In New Zealand the first widespread motor vehicle services were shared taxi services termed service cars; a significant early provider was Aard, operating elongated Hudson Super-Six Coaches.[73] By 1930 there were 597 service cars.[74] Aard was taken over by New Zealand Railways Road Services in 1928.[73] Shared taxis in New Zealand nowadays are referred to as Shuttles or Shuttle vans (see below).

In Cyprus, there are privately owned share taxis that travel to set destinations and board additional passengers en route called service taxis.[75]

Shared taxis–and they are known by that exact name–have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970s. These are more like a point-to-point service that operates only during the peak hours than other share taxis. During off-peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis; they can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter.

But during peak hours several of them will operate as shared taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a sign saying "shared taxis" and the cabs will line up at this point during peak hours.

They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens–which takes less than a few minutes–the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination but higher than a bus or train fare.

Share jeeps are a common form of transportation in the Himalayas, the North Eastern States and elsewhere.[76]

Sherut taxis

Sherut (pl. moniot sherut) is a Hebrew word meaning "service". Also referring to vans[77][78][79] that serve as share taxis in Israel, these can be picked up from sherut stations.[77] They follow fixed routes[77][78] (sometimes the same routes as public transport buses[77]), leave when full,[77][80] and will only disembark passengers along the route.[77] Moniyot sherut operate both inter[78][81] and intra-city.[78] Payment is often done by passing money to the driver in a "human chain" formed by the passengers seated before. The change (and the receipt, when requested) are returned to the person who paid by the same means. In intra-city routes, where they compete with official buses, the drivers usually coordinate their travel by radio so that they can arrive at the bus station just before public transport buses and take the most passengers.

Called "ser-vees" (service taxi) by Palestinians, in the West Bank vans are replaced by minibuses, for a while "Ford Transit" model was predominant in the Palestinian occupied territories,[82] hence the names "Ford" and "Fordat"(pl) are used to describe minibuses of various makes, which replaced aging Mercedes sedans previously used widely,[78] etc.

A shuttle van service to Dunedin International Airport picks up a passenger at Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand

Shared buses or vans are available in many more developed countries connecting frequent destinations, charging a fixed fee per passenger. The most common case is a connection between an airport and central city locations. These services are often known as shuttles. Such services usually use smaller vehicles than normal buses, and often operate on demand. An air traveller can contact the shuttle company by telephone or Internet, not necessarily in advance; the company will ensure that a shuttle is provided without unreasonable delay. The shuttle will typically connect one airport with several large hotels, or addresses in a specified area of the city. The shuttle offers much of the convenience of a taxi, although taking longer, at a price which is significantly lower for one or two passengers. Scheduled services between an airport and a hotel, usually operated by the hotel, are also called shuttles.

In many cases the shuttle operator takes the risk of there not being enough passengers to make the trip profitable; in others there is a minimum charge when there are not enough passengers.[83]

Usually there are regulations covering vehicles and drivers; for example in New Zealand under NZTA regulations, shuttles are only allowed to have up to eleven passenger seats, and the driver must have a passenger endorsement (P) on their drivers' licence.

Main article: Songthaew

Literally "two rows"[citation needed] a songthaew or song thaew[84] (Thai สองแถว, Lao: ສອງແຖວ [sɔ̌ːŋtʰíw]) is a passenger vehicle in Thailand[84] and Laos[85] adapted from a pick-up[85] or a larger truck and used as a share taxi. They are also known as baht buses.

In Mali, at least two words for share taxi may have common currency sotrama and dourouni.[10]

As of 2008, Bamako, Mali, has no independent transport authority,[26] but share taxi activity could fall under regulator Direction de la régulation et du contrôle du transport urbain (municipal) or DRCTU control.[18]

a Haitian tap tap Main article: Tap tap

Tap taps, gaily painted buses[86][87] or pick-up trucks,[87] and publiques, usually older saloon cars,[88] serve as share taxis in Haiti.

Tap taps are privately owned and beautifully decorated.[86] They follow fixed routes;[89] won't leave until filled with passengers;[87][89] and many feature wild colors, portraits of famous people, and intricate, hand-cut wooden window covers.[86] Often they are painted with religious names or slogans.[Thompson 3] Riders can disembark at any point in the journey.[87][89] Their name refers to "fast motion".[Thompson 4]

The publiques operate on fixed routes and pick up additional passengers all along the way.[88]

While saying not to use any form of public transport in Haiti, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against tap tap travel especially.[90] The US State Department also warns travelers not to use tap taps, "because they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely."[91]

In Algeria, taxis collectifs ply fixed routes with their destination displayed.[92] Rides are shared with others who are picked up along the way,[93] and the taxi will leave only when it seats all the passengers it can.[94] While stations, set locations to board and disembark,[citation needed] exist,[95][96] prospective passengers flag down a taxis collectifs when they want a ride.[92]

Operating inter[97][98] and intra-city,[citation needed] taxis collectifs that travel between towns may be called interwilaya taxis.[99]

Along with all forms of public transport in Algeria, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recommend against using these share taxis.[93] The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs asks that you use taxis recommended by a hotel.[100]

See also: Société de transport de Montréal and Réseau de transport de Longueuil § Shared taxi

In Quebec, share taxis or jitneys are called taxis collectifs[101] (in English "collective taxis"[102]) or transport collectif par taxi[103] (which may be translated in English as "taxibus"[104]) and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities[104][105][106][107] on fixed routes.[citation needed]

In the case of the Montréal the fare is the same as local bus fare, but no cash and transfers are issued or accepted;[108] in case of the STL only bus passes.[105][109] The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and some Réseau de transport métropolitain TRAM passes.[110]

See also: Pesero and Combi Yellow Taxi Colectivo in Chile

Often share taxi routes in Mexico are ad hoc arrangements to fill in gaps in regular public transportation, and many operate inter-city as well as local routes. In many rural areas, they are the only public transportation.

In some cases truck/taxi combination vehicles have evolved to transport light goods as well as passengers. Heavily used share taxi routes often evolve into regulated microbus public transit routes, as has occurred in Mexico City and in Lima.

Taxis colectivos are also found in Perú, Chile, Guatemala, and Argentina, where they are most commonly referred to simply as colectivos, although in some places they have become essentially standard buses.[27]

Besides the conventional deeltaxi, there are treintaxis in some Dutch towns. Operated on behalf of the Netherlands Railways,[citation needed] they run to and from railway stations and the ride is shared with additional passengers picked up along the way.[111] Tickets can be purchased at railway ticket offices or from the cabdriver,[111] but treintaxis must be ordered by phone unless boarding at a railway station.[111]

In Ghana and neighboring countries, tro tro are privately owned[112][113][114] minibus vehicles for hire that travel fixed routes[114] leaving when filled to capacity.[112][113] While there are tro tro stations,[114][115][116] these share taxis can also be boarded anywhere along the route.[112][113][114]

Operated by a driver and a conductor, who collects money, shouts out the destination, and is called a "mate",[114][117] many are decorated with slogans and sayings,[117] often religious,[112] and few operate on Sundays.[113]

As of 2008, there is no independent transport authority in Accra, Ghana,[26] and the share taxi industry may be wholly unregulated.

Tro tro are used by 70% of Ghanaian commuters.[118] This popularity may be because in cities such as Accra have no public transportation system save for these small minibuses.[67]

Large buses also provide public transport in Accra, as of 2008.[36]

An informal means of transportation, in Ghana they are licensed by the government, but the industry is self-regulated.[114] In Accra, syndicates include GPRTU and PROTOA.[10]

Share taxis do exist in Cameroon, but as of 2008 minibuses cannot be used for this purpose, by law.[8] That same year, Douala, Cameroon, also was without an independent transport authority.[26]

In Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, the share taxi role is not filled by the traditional African minibus.[8]

In Athens, Greece most taxis were share taxis,[119] but since the country joined the EU this tradition started to dissappear.

In Saint Lucia, waychehs are a name for minibus public transports using Toyota HiAce.

Modern Paratransit services, also known as demand responsive transport systems in the UK, can provide shared transport services in situations where scheduled services are not viable. Traditionally these services had to be booked a day in advance, but are becoming increasingly responsive using modern communications systems with a central booking system accessed by phone or internet and instant communications with GPS tracked vehicles. Unlike scheduled services the vehicles need not operate on fixed routes of timetables, although they do often have constrained routes.

Some newer taxi share systems now use internet and mobile phone communications for booking and scheduling purposes, with the actual service provided by normal hackney carriage or Private Hire vehicles. Prospective passengers make bookings and supply destination details using SMS to a central server which aggregates these travel requests and creates packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers.

There are many operators of airport shuttle services between Airports and Hotels around the world that operate on flexible routing and timing to offer a service that is both cheaper than a sole-occupancy taxi and also often more convenient that other forms of public transport. The requirement to carry luggage offers an added incentive to use such services over scheduled transport which will normally require a walk from the drop-off location to the final destination. Services from these operators are starting to spread from airports to railway stations and to other locations.

Main article: Demand responsive transport

Some operators and/or governments around the world are now offering demand-based shared transport to residents in community with low ridership numbers, which could help maintain the existence of public transport. Operations are predefined according to bookings.

  1. ^ a b Tap-tap, fula-fula, kia-kia: The Haitian bus in Atlantic perspective. Thompson, Robert Farris. African Arts. Los Angeles: Spring 1996. Vol. 29, Iss. 2; p. 41.
  2. ^ Thompson, p. 39.
  3. ^ Thompson, pp. 37, 38, 44, 45.
  4. ^ Thompson, p. 36.
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The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as part of the Space Shuttle program. Its official program name was Space Transportation System (STS), taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development.[10] The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982. In addition to the prototype whose completion was cancelled, five complete Shuttle systems were built and used on a total of 135 missions from 1981 to 2011, launched from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Operational missions launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST); conducted science experiments in orbit; and participated in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. The Shuttle fleet's total mission time was 1322 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds.[11]

Shuttle components included the Orbiter Vehicle (OV) with three clustered Rocketdyne RS-25 main engines, a pair of recoverable solid rocket boosters (SRBs), and the expendable external tank (ET) containing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Space Shuttle was launched vertically, like a conventional rocket, with the two SRBs operating in parallel with the OV's three main engines, which were fueled from the ET. The SRBs were jettisoned before the vehicle reached orbit, and the ET was jettisoned just before orbit insertion, which used the orbiter's two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines. At the conclusion of the mission, the orbiter fired its OMS to de-orbit and re-enter the atmosphere. The orbiter then glided as a spaceplane to a runway landing, usually to the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida or Rogers Dry Lake in Edwards Air Force Base, California. After landing at Edwards, the orbiter was flown back to the KSC on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a specially modified version of the Boeing 747.

The first orbiter, Enterprise, was built in 1976, used in Approach and Landing Tests and had no orbital capability. Four fully operational orbiters were initially built: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, and Atlantis. Of these, two were lost in mission accidents: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003, with a total of fourteen astronauts killed. A fifth operational (and sixth in total) orbiter, Endeavour, was built in 1991 to replace Challenger. The Space Shuttle was retired from service upon the conclusion of Atlantis's final flight on July 21, 2011. The U.S. has since relied primarily on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Space Shuttle was a partially reusable[12] human spaceflight vehicle capable of reaching low Earth orbit, commissioned and operated by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1981 to 2011. It resulted from shuttle design studies conducted by NASA and the US Air Force in the 1960s and was first proposed for development as part of an ambitious second-generation Space Transportation System (STS) of space vehicles to follow the Apollo program in a September 1969 report of a Space Task Group headed by Vice President Spiro Agnew to President Richard Nixon. Nixon's post-Apollo NASA budgeting withdrew support of all system components except the Shuttle, to which NASA applied the STS name.[10]

The vehicle consisted of a spaceplane for orbit and re-entry, fueled from expendable liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, with reusable strap-on solid booster rockets. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981, leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The system was retired from service in 2011 after 135 missions,[13] with Atlantis making the final launch of the three-decade Shuttle program on July 8, 2011.[14] The program ended after Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011. Major missions included launching numerous satellites and interplanetary probes,[15] conducting space science experiments, and servicing and construction of space stations. The first orbiter vehicle, named Enterprise, was used in the initial Approach and Landing Tests phase but installation of engines, heat shielding, and other equipment necessary for orbital flight was cancelled.[16] A total of five operational orbiters were built, and of these, two were destroyed in accidents.

It was used for orbital space missions by NASA, the US Department of Defense, the European Space Agency, Japan, and Germany.[17][18] The United States funded Shuttle development and operations except for the Spacelab modules used on D1 and D2—sponsored by Germany.[17][19][20][21][22] SL-J was partially funded by Japan.[18]

STS-129 ready for launch Shuttle approach and landing test crews, 1976 Early concept for a space shuttle refueling a space tug, 1970

At launch, it consisted of the "stack", including the dark orange external tank (ET) (for the first two launches the tank was painted white);[23][24] two white, slender solid rocket boosters (SRBs); and the Orbiter Vehicle, which contained the crew and payload. Some payloads were launched into higher orbits with either of two different upper stages developed for the STS (single-stage Payload Assist Module or two-stage Inertial Upper Stage). The Space Shuttle was stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the stack mounted on a mobile launch platform held down by four frangible nuts[25] on each SRB, which were detonated at launch.[26]

The Shuttle stack launched vertically like a conventional rocket. It lifted off under the power of its two SRBs and three main engines, which were fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen from the ET. The Space Shuttle had a two-stage ascent. The SRBs provided additional thrust during liftoff and first-stage flight. About two minutes after liftoff, frangible nuts were fired, releasing the SRBs, which then parachuted into the ocean, to be retrieved by NASA recovery ships for refurbishment and reuse. The orbiter and ET continued to ascend on an increasingly horizontal flight path under power from its main engines. Upon reaching 17,500 mph (7.8 km/s), necessary for low Earth orbit, the main engines were shut down. The ET, attached by two frangible nuts[27] was then jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere.[28] After jettisoning the external tank, the orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines were used to adjust the orbit. The orbiter carried astronauts and payloads such as satellites or space station parts into low Earth orbit, the Earth's upper atmosphere or thermosphere.[29] Usually, five to seven crew members rode in the orbiter. Two crew members, the commander and pilot, were sufficient for a minimal flight, as in the first four "test" flights, STS-1 through STS-4. The typical payload capacity was about 50,045 pounds (22,700 kg) but could be increased depending on the choice of launch configuration. The orbiter carried its payload in a large cargo bay with doors that opened along the length of its top, a feature which made the Space Shuttle unique among spacecraft. This feature made possible the deployment of large satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope and also the capture and return of large payloads back to Earth.

When the orbiter's space mission was complete, it fired its OMS thrusters to drop out of orbit and re-enter the lower atmosphere.[29] During descent, the orbiter passed through different layers of the atmosphere and decelerated from hypersonic speed primarily by aerobraking. In the lower atmosphere and landing phase, it was more like a glider but with reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and fly-by-wire-controlled hydraulically actuated flight surfaces controlling its descent. It landed on a long runway as a conventional aircraft. The aerodynamic shape was a compromise between the demands of radically different speeds and air pressures during re-entry, hypersonic flight, and subsonic atmospheric flight. As a result, the orbiter had a relatively high sink rate at low altitudes, and it transitioned during re-entry from using RCS thrusters at very high altitudes to flight surfaces in the lower atmosphere.

President Nixon (right) with NASA Administrator Fletcher in January 1972, three months before Congress approved funding for the Shuttle program Vision for a Spacelab mission with various equipment in the Shuttle bay Vision for Space Station Freedom, with an STS orbiter docked

The formal design of what became the Space Shuttle began with the "Phase A" contract design studies issued in the late 1960s. Conceptualization had begun two decades earlier, before the Apollo program of the 1960s. One of the places the concept of a spacecraft returning from space to a horizontal landing originated was within NACA, in 1954, in the form of an aeronautics research experiment later named the X-15. The NACA proposal was submitted by Walter Dornberger.

In 1958, the X-15 concept further developed into a proposal to launch an X-15 into space, and another X-series spaceplane proposal, named X-20 Dyna-Soar, as well as variety of aerospace plane concepts and studies. Neil Armstrong was selected to pilot both the X-15 and the X-20. Though the X-20 was not built, another spaceplane similar to the X-20 was built several years later and delivered to NASA in January 1966 called the HL-10 ("HL" indicated "horizontal landing").

In the mid-1960s, the US Air Force conducted classified studies on next-generation space transportation systems and concluded that semi-reusable designs were the cheapest choice. It proposed a development program with an immediate start on a "Class I" vehicle with expendable boosters, followed by slower development of a "Class II" semi-reusable design and possible "Class III" fully reusable design later. In 1967, George Mueller held a one-day symposium at NASA headquarters to study the options. Eighty people attended and presented a wide variety of designs, including earlier US Air Force designs such as the X-20 Dyna-Soar.

In 1968, NASA officially began work on what was then known as the Integrated Launch and Re-entry Vehicle (ILRV). At the same time, NASA held a separate Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) competition. NASA offices in Houston and Huntsville jointly issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for ILRV studies to design a spacecraft that could deliver a payload to orbit but also re-enter the atmosphere and fly back to Earth. For example, one of the responses was for a two-stage design, featuring a large booster and a small orbiter, called the DC-3, one of several Phase A Shuttle designs. After the aforementioned "Phase A" studies, B, C, and D phases progressively evaluated in-depth designs up to 1972. In the final design, the bottom stage consisted of recoverable solid rocket boosters, and the top stage used an expendable external tank.[30]

In 1969, President Richard Nixon decided to support proceeding with Space Shuttle development. A series of development programs and analysis refined the basic design, prior to full development and testing. In August 1973, the X-24B proved that an unpowered spaceplane could re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a horizontal landing.

Across the Atlantic, European ministers met in Belgium in 1973 to authorize Western Europe's manned orbital project and its main contribution to Space Shuttle—the Spacelab program.[31] Spacelab would provide a multidisciplinary orbital space laboratory and additional space equipment for the Shuttle.[31]

STS-1 on the launch pad, December 1980

The Space Shuttle was the first operational orbital spacecraft designed for reuse. It carried different payloads to low Earth orbit, provided crew rotation and supplies for the International Space Station (ISS), and performed satellite servicing and repair. The orbiter could also recover satellites and other payloads from orbit and return them to Earth. Each Shuttle was designed for a projected lifespan of 100 launches or ten years of operational life, although this was later extended. The person in charge of designing the STS was Maxime Faget, who had also overseen the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft designs. The crucial factor in the size and shape of the Shuttle orbiter was the requirement that it be able to accommodate the largest planned commercial and military satellites, and have over 1,000 mile cross-range recovery range to meet the requirement for classified USAF missions for a once-around abort from a launch to a polar orbit. The militarily specified 1,085 nmi (2,009 km; 1,249 mi) cross range requirement was one of the primary reasons for the Shuttle's large wings, compared to modern commercial designs with very minimal control surfaces and glide capability. Factors involved in opting for solid rockets and an expendable fuel tank included the desire of the Pentagon to obtain a high-capacity payload vehicle for satellite deployment, and the desire of the Nixon administration to reduce the costs of space exploration by developing a spacecraft with reusable components.

Each Space Shuttle was a reusable launch system composed of three main assemblies: the reusable OV, the expendable ET, and the two reusable SRBs.[32] Only the OV entered orbit shortly after the tank and boosters are jettisoned. The vehicle was launched vertically like a conventional rocket, and the orbiter glided to a horizontal landing like an airplane, after which it was refurbished for reuse. The SRBs parachuted to splashdown in the ocean where they were towed back to shore and refurbished for later Shuttle missions.

Discovery rockets into orbit, seen here just after solid rocket booster (SRB) separation Tail-end of an orbiter showing various nozzles during an orbital maneuver with ISS

Five operational OVs were built: Columbia (OV-102), Challenger (OV-099), Discovery (OV-103), Atlantis (OV-104), and Endeavour (OV-105). A mock-up, Inspiration, currently stands at the entrance to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. An additional craft, Enterprise (OV-101), was built for atmospheric testing gliding and landing; it was originally intended to be outfitted for orbital operations after the test program, but it was found more economical to upgrade the structural test article STA-099 into orbiter Challenger (OV-099). Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch in 1986, and Endeavour was built as a replacement from structural spare components. Building Endeavour cost about US$1.7 billion. Columbia broke apart over Texas during re-entry in 2003. A Space Shuttle launch cost around $450 million.[33]

Roger A. Pielke, Jr. has estimated that the Space Shuttle program cost about US$170 billion (2008 dollars) through early 2008; the average cost per flight was about US$1.5 billion.[34] Two missions were paid for by Germany, Spacelab D1 and D2 (D for Deutschland) with a payload control center in Oberpfaffenhofen.[35][36] D1 was the first time that control of a manned STS mission payload was not in U.S. hands.[17]

At times, the orbiter itself was referred to as the Space Shuttle. This was not technically correct as the Space Shuttle was the combination of the orbiter, the external tank, and the two solid rocket boosters. These components, once assembled in the Vehicle Assembly Building originally built to assemble the Apollo Saturn V rocket, were commonly referred to as the "stack".[37]

Responsibility for the Shuttle components was spread among multiple NASA field centers. The Kennedy Space Center was responsible for launch, landing and turnaround operations for equatorial orbits (the only orbit profile actually used in the program), the US Air Force at the Vandenberg Air Force Base was responsible for launch, landing and turnaround operations for polar orbits (though this was never used), the Johnson Space Center served as the central point for all Shuttle operations, the Marshall Space Flight Center was responsible for the main engines, external tank, and solid rocket boosters, the John C. Stennis Space Center handled main engine testing, and the Goddard Space Flight Center managed the global tracking network.[38]

Main article: Space Shuttle orbiter Shuttle launch profiles. From left to right: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour.

The orbiter resembled a conventional aircraft, with double-delta wings swept 81° at the inner leading edge and 45° at the outer leading edge. Its vertical stabilizer's leading edge was swept back at a 50° angle. The four elevons, mounted at the trailing edge of the wings, and the rudder/speed brake, attached at the trailing edge of the stabilizer, with the body flap, controlled the orbiter during descent and landing.

The orbiter's 60-foot (18 m)-long payload bay, comprising most of the fuselage, could accommodate cylindrical payloads up to 15 feet (4.6 m) in diameter. Information declassified in 2011 showed that these measurements were chosen specifically to accommodate the KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office.[39] Two mostly-symmetrical lengthwise payload bay doors hinged on either side of the bay comprised its entire top. Payloads were generally loaded horizontally into the bay while the orbiter was standing upright on the launch pad and unloaded vertically in the near-weightless orbital environment by the orbiter's robotic remote manipulator arm (under astronaut control), EVA astronauts, or under the payloads' own power (as for satellites attached to a rocket "upper stage" for deployment.)

Three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) were mounted on the orbiter's aft fuselage in a triangular pattern. The engine nozzles could gimbal 10.5 degrees up and down, and 8.5 degrees from side to side during ascent to change the direction of their thrust to steer the Shuttle. The orbiter structure was made primarily from aluminum alloy, although the engine structure was made primarily from titanium alloy.

The operational orbiters built were OV-102 Columbia, OV-099 Challenger, OV-103 Discovery, OV-104 Atlantis, and OV-105 Endeavour.[40]

Main article: Space Shuttle external tank An external tank floats away from the orbiter. Interior of an External Tank

The main function of the Space Shuttle external tank was to supply the liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel to the main engines. It was also the backbone of the launch vehicle, providing attachment points for the two solid rocket boosters and the orbiter. The external tank was the only part of the Shuttle system that was not reused. Although the external tanks were always discarded, it would have been possible to take them into orbit and re-use them (such as a wet workshop for incorporation into a space station).[28][42]

Main article: Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster

Two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) each provided 12,500 kN (2,800,000 lbf) of thrust at liftoff,[43] which was 83% of the total thrust at liftoff. The SRBs were jettisoned two minutes after launch at a height of about 46 km (150,000 ft), and then deployed parachutes and landed in the ocean to be recovered.[44] The SRB cases were made of steel about ½ inch (13 mm) thick.[45] The solid rocket boosters were re-used many times; the casing used in Ares I engine testing in 2009 consisted of motor cases that had been flown, collectively, on 48 Shuttle missions, including STS-1.[46]

Astronauts who have flown on multiple spacecraft report that Shuttle delivers a rougher ride than Apollo or Soyuz.[47][48] The additional vibration is caused by the solid rocket boosters, as solid fuel does not burn as evenly as liquid fuel. The vibration dampens down after the solid rocket boosters have been jettisoned.[49][50]

The orbiter could be used in conjunction with a variety of add-ons depending on the mission. This included orbital laboratories (Spacelab, Spacehab), boosters for launching payloads farther into space (Inertial Upper Stage, Payload Assist Module), and other functions, such as provided by Extended Duration Orbiter, Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, or Canadarm (RMS). An upper stage called Transfer Orbit Stage (Orbital Science Corp. TOS-21) was also used once with the orbiter.[51] Other types of systems and racks were part of the modular Spacelab system —pallets, igloo, IPS, etc., which also supported special missions such as SRTM.[52]

Main article: Spacelab European astronauts prepare for their Spacelab mission, 1984 Interior of Spacelab LM2

A major component of the Space Shuttle Program was Spacelab, primarily contributed by a consortium of European countries, and operated in conjunction with the United States and international partners.[52] Supported by a modular system of pressurized modules, pallets, and systems, Spacelab missions executed on multidisciplinary science, orbital logistics, and international cooperation.[52] Over 29 missions flew on subjects ranging from astronomy, microgravity, radar, and life sciences, to name a few.[52] Spacelab hardware also supported missions such as Hubble (HST) servicing and space station resupply.[52] STS-2 and STS-3 provided testing, and the first full mission was Spacelab-1 (STS-9) launched on November 28, 1983.[52]

Spacelab formally began in 1973, after a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, by European heads of state.[31] Within the decade, Spacelab went into orbit and provided Europe and the United States with an orbital workshop and hardware system.[31] International cooperation, science, and exploration were realized on Spacelab.[52]

The Shuttle was one of the earliest craft to use a computerized fly-by-wire digital flight control system. This means no mechanical or hydraulic linkages connected the pilot's control stick to the control surfaces or reaction control system thrusters. The control algorithm, which used a classical Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) approach, was developed and maintained by Honeywell.[citation needed] The Shuttle's fly-by-wire digital flight control system was composed of 4 control systems each addressing a different mission phase: Ascent, Descent, On-Orbit and Aborts.[citation needed] Honeywell is also credited with the design and implementation of the Shuttle's Nose Wheel Steering Control Algorithm that allowed the Orbiter to safely land at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Runway.[citation needed]

A concern with using digital fly-by-wire systems on the Shuttle was reliability. Considerable research went into the Shuttle computer system. The Shuttle used five identical redundant IBM 32-bit general purpose computers (GPCs), model AP-101, constituting a type of embedded system. Four computers ran specialized software called the Primary Avionics Software System (PASS). A fifth backup computer ran separate software called the Backup Flight System (BFS). Collectively they were called the Data Processing System (DPS).[53][54]

Simulation of SSLV at Mach 2.46 and 66,000 ft (20,000 m). The surface of the vehicle is colored by the pressure coefficient, and the gray contours represent the density of the surrounding air, as calculated using the OVERFLOW software package.

The design goal of the Shuttle's DPS was fail-operational/fail-safe reliability. After a single failure, the Shuttle could still continue the mission. After two failures, it could still land safely.

The four general-purpose computers operated essentially in lockstep, checking each other. If one computer provided a different result than the other three (i.e. the one computer failed), the three functioning computers "voted" it out of the system. This isolated it from vehicle control. If a second computer of the three remaining failed, the two functioning computers voted it out. A very unlikely failure mode would have been where two of the computers produced result A, and two produced result B (a two-two split). In this unlikely case, one group of two was to be picked at random.

The Backup Flight System (BFS) was separately developed software running on the fifth computer, used only if the entire four-computer primary system failed. The BFS was created because although the four primary computers were hardware redundant, they all ran the same software, so a generic software problem could crash all of them. Embedded system avionic software was developed under totally different conditions from public commercial software: the number of code lines was tiny compared to a public commercial software product, changes were only made infrequently and with extensive testing, and many programming and test personnel worked on the small amount of computer code. However, in theory it could have still failed, and the BFS existed for that contingency. While the BFS could run in parallel with PASS, the BFS never engaged to take over control from PASS during any Shuttle mission.

The software for the Shuttle computers was written in a high-level language called HAL/S, somewhat similar to PL/I. It is specifically designed for a real time embedded system environment.

The IBM AP-101 computers originally had about 424 kilobytes of magnetic core memory each. The CPU could process about 400,000 instructions per second. They had no hard disk drive, and loaded software from magnetic tape cartridges.

In 1990, the original computers were replaced with an upgraded model AP-101S, which had about 2.5 times the memory capacity (about 1 megabyte) and three times the processor speed (about 1.2 million instructions per second). The memory was changed from magnetic core to semiconductor with battery backup.

Early Shuttle missions, starting in November 1983, took along the Grid Compass, arguably one of the first laptop computers. The GRiD was given the name SPOC, for Shuttle Portable Onboard Computer. Use on the Shuttle required both hardware and software modifications which were incorporated into later versions of the commercial product. It was used to monitor and display the Shuttle's ground position, path of the next two orbits, show where the Shuttle had line of sight communications with ground stations, and determine points for location-specific observations of the Earth. The Compass sold poorly, as it cost at least US$8000, but it offered unmatched performance for its weight and size.[55] NASA was one of its main customers.[56]

During its service life, the Shuttle's Control System never experienced a failure. Many of the lessons learned have been used to design today's high speed control algorithms.[57]

Payload specialist Millie Hughes-Fulford, who flew aboard Columbia in 1991, displays the modernist Blackburn & Danne NASA logotype, known as "the worm".

The prototype orbiter Enterprise originally had a flag of the United States on the upper surface of the left wing and the letters "USA" in black on the right wing. The name "Enterprise" was painted in black on the payload bay doors just above the hinge and behind the crew module; on the aft end of the payload bay doors was the NASA "worm" logotype in gray. Underneath the rear of the payload bay doors on the side of the fuselage just above the wing is the text "United States" in black with a flag of the United States ahead of it.

The first operational orbiter, Columbia, originally had the same markings as Enterprise, although the letters "USA" on the right wing were slightly larger and spaced farther apart. Columbia also had black markings which Enterprise lacked on its forward RCS module, around the cockpit windows, and on its vertical stabilizer, and had distinctive black "chines" on the forward part of its upper wing surfaces, which none of the other orbiters had.

Challenger established a modified marking scheme for the shuttle fleet that was matched by Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. The letters "USA" in black above an American flag were displayed on the left wing, with the NASA "worm" logotype in gray centered above the name of the orbiter in black on the right wing. The name of the orbiter was inscribed not on the payload bay doors, but on the forward fuselage just below and behind the cockpit windows. This would make the name visible when the shuttle was photographed in orbit with the doors open.

In 1983, Enterprise had its wing markings changed to match Challenger, and the NASA "worm" logotype on the aft end of the payload bay doors was changed from gray to black. Some black markings were added to the nose, cockpit windows and vertical tail to more closely resemble the flight vehicles, but the name "Enterprise" remained on the payload bay doors as there was never any need to open them. Columbia had its name moved to the forward fuselage to match the other flight vehicles after STS-61-C, during the 1986–88 hiatus when the shuttle fleet was grounded following the loss of Challenger, but retained its original wing markings until its last overhaul (after STS-93), and its unique black wing "chines" for the remainder of its operational life.

Beginning in 1998, the flight vehicles' markings were modified to incorporate the NASA "meatball" insignia. The "worm" logotype, which the agency had phased out, was removed from the payload bay doors and the "meatball" insignia was added aft of the "United States" text on the lower aft fuselage. The "meatball" insignia was also displayed on the left wing, with the American flag above the orbiter's name, left-justified rather than centered, on the right wing. The three surviving flight vehicles, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, still bear these markings as museum displays. Enterprise became the property of the Smithsonian Institution in 1985 and was no longer under NASA's control when these changes were made, hence the prototype orbiter still has its 1983 markings and still has its name on the payload bay doors.

Atlantis was the first Shuttle to fly with a glass cockpit, on STS-101. (composite image)

The Space Shuttle was initially developed in the 1970s,[58] but received many upgrades and modifications afterward to improve performance, reliability and safety. Internally, the Shuttle remained largely similar to the original design, with the exception of the improved avionics computers. In addition to the computer upgrades, the original analog primary flight instruments were replaced with modern full-color, flat-panel display screens, called a glass cockpit, which is similar to those of contemporary airliners. To facilitate construction of ISS, the internal airlocks of each orbiter except Columbia[59] were replaced with external docking systems to allow for a greater amount of cargo to be stored on the Shuttle's mid-deck during station resupply missions.

The Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) had several improvements to enhance reliability and power. This explains phrases such as "Main engines throttling up to 104 percent." This did not mean the engines were being run over a safe limit. The 100 percent figure was the original specified power level. During the lengthy development program, Rocketdyne determined the engine was capable of safe reliable operation at 104 percent of the originally specified thrust. NASA could have rescaled the output number, saying in essence 104 percent is now 100 percent. To clarify this would have required revising much previous documentation and software, so the 104 percent number was retained. SSME upgrades were denoted as "block numbers", such as block I, block II, and block IIA. The upgrades improved engine reliability, maintainability and performance. The 109% thrust level was finally reached in flight hardware with the Block II engines in 2001. The normal maximum throttle was 104 percent, with 106 percent or 109 percent used for mission aborts.

For the first two missions, STS-1 and STS-2, the external tank was painted white to protect the insulation that covers much of the tank, but improvements and testing showed that it was not required. The weight saved by not painting the tank resulted in an increase in payload capability to orbit.[60] Additional weight was saved by removing some of the internal "stringers" in the hydrogen tank that proved unnecessary. The resulting "light-weight external tank" was first flown on STS-6 [61] and used on the majority of Shuttle missions. STS-91 saw the first flight of the "super light-weight external tank". This version of the tank was made of the 2195 aluminum-lithium alloy. It weighed 3.4 metric tons (7,500 lb) less than the last run of lightweight tanks, allowing the Shuttle to deliver heavy elements to ISS's high inclination orbit.[61] As the Shuttle was always operated with a crew, each of these improvements was first flown on operational mission flights.

The solid rocket boosters underwent improvements as well. Design engineers added a third O-ring seal to the joints between the segments after the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

The three nozzles of the Space Shuttle Main Engine with the two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) pods, and the vertical stabilizer above.

Several other SRB improvements were planned to improve performance and safety, but never came to be. These culminated in the considerably simpler, lower cost, probably safer and better-performing Advanced Solid Rocket Booster. These rockets entered production in the early to mid-1990s to support the Space Station, but were later canceled to save money after the expenditure of $2.2 billion.[62] The loss of the ASRB program resulted in the development of the Super LightWeight external Tank (SLWT), which provided some of the increased payload capability, while not providing any of the safety improvements. In addition, the US Air Force developed their own much lighter single-piece SRB design using a filament-wound system, but this too was canceled.

STS-70 was delayed in 1995, when woodpeckers bored holes in the foam insulation of Discovery's external tank. Since then, NASA has installed commercial plastic owl decoys and inflatable owl balloons which had to be removed prior to launch.[63] The delicate nature of the foam insulation had been the cause of damage to the Thermal Protection System, the tile heat shield and heat wrap of the orbiter. NASA remained confident that this damage, while it was the primary cause of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 1, 2003, would not jeopardize the completion of the International Space Station (ISS) in the projected time allotted.

A cargo-only, unmanned variant of the Shuttle was variously proposed and rejected since the 1980s. It was called the Shuttle-C, and would have traded re-usability for cargo capability, with large potential savings from reusing technology developed for the Space Shuttle. Another proposal was to convert the payload bay into a passenger area, with versions ranging from 30 to 74 seats, three days in orbit, and cost US$1.5 million per seat.[64]

On the first four Shuttle missions, astronauts wore modified US Air Force high-altitude full-pressure suits, which included a full-pressure helmet during ascent and descent. From the fifth flight, STS-5, until the loss of Challenger, one-piece light blue nomex flight suits and partial-pressure helmets were worn. A less-bulky, partial-pressure version of the high-altitude pressure suits with a helmet was reinstated when Shuttle flights resumed in 1988. The Launch-Entry Suit ended its service life in late 1995, and was replaced by the full-pressure Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES), which resembled the Gemini space suit in design, but retained the orange color of the Launch-Entry Suit.

To extend the duration that orbiters could stay docked at the ISS, the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) was installed. The SSPTS allowed these orbiters to use power provided by the ISS to preserve their consumables. The SSPTS was first used successfully on STS-118.

Space Shuttle orbiter illustration Space Shuttle drawing Space Shuttle wing cutaway Space Shuttle Orbiter and Soyuz-TM (drawn to scale). Atlantis and Endeavour on launch pads. This particular occasion is due to the final Hubble servicing mission, where the International Space Station is unreachable, which necessitates having a Shuttle on standby for a possible rescue mission.

Orbiter[65] (for Endeavour, OV-105)

The earliest Shuttle flights had the minimum crew of two; many later missions a crew of five. By program end, typically seven people would fly: (commander, pilot, several mission specialists, one of whom (MS-2) acted as the flight engineer starting with STS-9 in 1983). On two occasions, eight astronauts have flown (STS-61-A, STS-71). Eleven people could be accommodated in an emergency mission (see STS-3xx).

External tank (for SLWT)

Solid Rocket Boosters

System Stack

STS mission profile Shuttle launch of Atlantis at sunset in 2001. The Sun is behind the camera, and the plume's shadow intersects the Moon across the sky. See also: Space shuttle launch countdown and Space shuttle launch commit criteria

All Space Shuttle missions were launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The weather criteria used for launch included, but were not limited to: precipitation, temperatures, cloud cover, lightning forecast, wind, and humidity.[70] The Shuttle was not launched under conditions where it could have been struck by lightning. Aircraft are often struck by lightning with no adverse effects because the electricity of the strike is dissipated through its conductive structure and the aircraft is not electrically grounded. Like most jet airliners, the Shuttle was mainly constructed of conductive aluminum, which would normally shield and protect the internal systems. However, upon liftoff the Shuttle sent out a long exhaust plume as it ascended, and this plume could have triggered lightning by providing a current path to ground. The NASA Anvil Rule for a Shuttle launch stated that an anvil cloud could not appear within a distance of 10 nautical miles.[71] The Shuttle Launch Weather Officer monitored conditions until the final decision to scrub a launch was announced. In addition, the weather conditions had to be acceptable at one of the Transatlantic Abort Landing sites (one of several Space Shuttle abort modes) to launch as well as the solid rocket booster recovery area.[70][72] While the Shuttle might have safely endured a lightning strike, a similar strike caused problems on Apollo 12, so for safety NASA chose not to launch the Shuttle if lightning was possible (NPR8715.5).

Historically, the Shuttle was not launched if its flight would run from December to January (a year-end rollover or YERO). Its flight software, designed in the 1970s, was not designed for this, and would require the orbiter's computers be reset through a change of year, which could cause a glitch while in orbit. In 2007, NASA engineers devised a solution so Shuttle flights could cross the year-end boundary.[73]

After the final hold in the countdown at T-minus 9 minutes, the Shuttle went through its final preparations for launch, and the countdown was automatically controlled by the Ground Launch Sequencer (GLS), software at the Launch Control Center, which stopped the count if it sensed a critical problem with any of the Shuttle's onboard systems. The GLS handed off the count to the Shuttle's on-board computers at T minus 31 seconds, in a process called auto sequence start.

At T-minus 16 seconds, the massive sound suppression system (SPS) began to drench the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) and SRB trenches with 300,000 US gallons (1,100 m3) of water to protect the Orbiter from damage by acoustical energy and rocket exhaust reflected from the flame trench and MLP during lift off.[74][75]

At T-minus 10 seconds, hydrogen igniters were activated under each engine bell to quell the stagnant gas inside the cones before ignition. Failure to burn these gases could trip the onboard sensors and create the possibility of an overpressure and explosion of the vehicle during the firing phase. The main engine turbopumps also began charging the combustion chambers with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at this time. The computers reciprocated this action by allowing the redundant computer systems to begin the firing phase.

Space Shuttle Main Engine ignition

The three main engines (SSMEs) started at T-6.6 seconds. The main engines ignited sequentially via the Shuttle's general purpose computers (GPCs) at 120 millisecond intervals. All three SSMEs were required to reach 90% rated thrust within three seconds, otherwise the onboard computers would initiate an RSLS abort. If all three engines indicated nominal performance by T-3 seconds, they were commanded to gimbal to liftoff configuration and the command would be issued to arm the SRBs for ignition at T-0.[76] Between T-6.6 seconds and T-3 seconds, while the SSMEs were firing but the SRBs were still bolted to the pad, the offset thrust caused the entire launch stack (boosters, tank and orbiter) to pitch down 650 mm (25.5 in) measured at the tip of the external tank. The three second delay after confirmation of SSME operation was to allow the stack to return to nearly vertical. At T-0 seconds, the 8 frangible nuts holding the SRBs to the pad were detonated, the SSMEs were commanded to 100% throttle, and the SRBs were ignited. By T+0.23 seconds, the SRBs built up enough thrust for liftoff to commence, and reached maximum chamber pressure by T+0.6 seconds.[77] The Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center assumed control of the flight once the SRBs had cleared the launch tower.

Shortly after liftoff, the Shuttle's main engines were throttled up to 104.5% and the vehicle began a combined roll, pitch and yaw maneuver that placed it onto the correct heading (azimuth) for the planned orbital inclination and in a heads down attitude with wings level. The Shuttle flew upside down during the ascent phase. This orientation allowed a trim angle of attack that was favorable for aerodynamic loads during the region of high dynamic pressure, resulting in a net positive load factor, as well as providing the flight crew with a view of the horizon as a visual reference. The vehicle climbed in a progressively flattening arc, accelerating as the mass of the SRBs and main tank decreased. To achieve low orbit requires much more horizontal than vertical acceleration. This was not visually obvious, since the vehicle rose vertically and was out of sight for most of the horizontal acceleration. The near circular orbital velocity at the 380 kilometers (236 mi) altitude of the International Space Station is 27,650 km/h (17,180 mph), roughly equivalent to Mach 23 at sea level. As the International Space Station orbits at an inclination of 51.6 degrees, missions going there must set orbital inclination to the same value in order to rendezvous with the station.

Around 30 seconds into ascent, the SSMEs were throttled down—usually to 72%, though this varied—to reduce the maximum aerodynamic forces acting on the Shuttle at a point called Max Q. Additionally, the propellant grain design of the SRBs caused their thrust to drop by about 30% by 50 seconds into ascent. Once the Orbiter's guidance verified that Max Q would be within Shuttle structural limits, the main engines were throttled back up to 104.5%; this throttling down and back up was called the "thrust bucket". To maximize performance, the throttle level and timing of the thrust bucket was shaped to bring the Shuttle as close to aerodynamic limits as possible.[78]

Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) separation during STS-1. The white external tank pictured was used on STS-1 and STS-2.

At around T+126 seconds, pyrotechnic fasteners released the SRBs and small separation rockets pushed them laterally away from the vehicle. The SRBs parachuted back to the ocean to be reused. The Shuttle then began accelerating to orbit on the main engines. Acceleration at this point would typically fall to .9 g, and the vehicle would take on a somewhat nose-up angle to the horizon – it used the main engines to gain and then maintain altitude while it accelerated horizontally towards orbit. At about five and three-quarter minutes into ascent, the orbiter's direct communication links with the ground began to fade, at which point it rolled heads up to reroute its communication links to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system.

At about seven and a half minutes into ascent, the mass of the vehicle was low enough that the engines had to be throttled back to limit vehicle acceleration to 3 g (29.4 m/s² or 96.5 ft/s², equivalent to accelerating from zero to 105.9 km/h (65.8 mph) in a second). The Shuttle would maintain this acceleration for the next minute, and main engine cut-off (MECO) occurred at about eight and a half minutes after launch.[79] The main engines were shut down before complete depletion of propellant, as running dry would have destroyed the engines. The oxygen supply was terminated before the hydrogen supply, as the SSMEs reacted unfavorably to other shutdown modes. (Liquid oxygen has a tendency to react violently, and supports combustion when it encounters hot engine metal.) A few seconds after MECO, the external tank was released by firing pyrotechnic fasteners.

At this point the Shuttle and external tank were on a slightly suborbital trajectory, coasting up towards apogee. Once at apogee, about half an hour after MECO, the Shuttle's Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines were fired to raise its perigee and achieve orbit, while the external tank fell back into the atmosphere and burned up over the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean depending on launch profile.[65] The sealing action of the tank plumbing and lack of pressure relief systems on the external tank helped it break up in the lower atmosphere. After the foam burned away during re-entry, the heat caused a pressure buildup in the remaining liquid oxygen and hydrogen until the tank exploded. This ensured that any pieces that fell back to Earth were small.

Ascent tracking Contraves-Goerz Kineto Tracking Mount used to image the space Shuttle during launch ascent Multicolored afterglow of the STS-131 launch

The Shuttle was monitored throughout its ascent for short range tracking (10 seconds before liftoff through 57 seconds after), medium range (7 seconds before liftoff through 110 seconds after) and long range (7 seconds before liftoff through 165 seconds after). Short range cameras included 22 16mm cameras on the Mobile Launch Platform and 8 16mm on the Fixed Service Structure, 4 high speed fixed cameras located on the perimeter of the launch complex plus an additional 42 fixed cameras with 16mm motion picture film. Medium range cameras included remotely operated tracking cameras at the launch complex plus 6 sites along the immediate coast north and south of the launch pad, each with 800mm lens and high speed cameras running 100 frames per second. These cameras ran for only 4–10 seconds due to limitations in the amount of film available. Long range cameras included those mounted on the external tank, SRBs and orbiter itself which streamed live video back to the ground providing valuable information about any debris falling during ascent. Long range tracking cameras with 400-inch film and 200-inch video lenses were operated by a photographer at Playalinda Beach as well as 9 other sites from 38 miles north at the Ponce Inlet to 23 miles south to Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) and additional mobile optical tracking camera was stationed on Merritt Island during launches. A total of 10 HD cameras were used both for ascent information for engineers and broadcast feeds to networks such as NASA TV and HDNet. The number of cameras significantly increased and numerous existing cameras were upgraded at the recommendation of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board to provide better information about the debris during launch. Debris was also tracked using a pair of Weibel Continuous Pulse Doppler X-band radars, one on board the SRB recovery ship MV Liberty Star positioned north east of the launch pad and on a ship positioned south of the launch pad. Additionally, during the first 2 flights following the loss of Columbia and her crew, a pair of NASA WB-57 reconnaissance aircraft equipped with HD Video and Infrared flew at 60,000 feet (18,000 m) to provide additional views of the launch ascent.[80] Kennedy Space Center also invested nearly $3 million in improvements to the digital video analysis systems in support of debris tracking.[81]

Once in orbit, the Shuttle usually flew at an altitude of 320 km (170 nmi) and occasionally as high as 650 km (350 nmi).[82] In the 1980s and 1990s, many flights involved space science missions on the NASA/ESA Spacelab, or launching various types of satellites and science probes. By the 1990s and 2000s the focus shifted more to servicing the space station, with fewer satellite launches. Most missions involved staying in orbit several days to two weeks, although longer missions were possible with the Extended Duration Orbiter add-on or when attached to a space station.

Almost the entire Space Shuttle re-entry procedure, except for lowering the landing gear and deploying the air data probes, was normally performed under computer control. However, the re-entry could be flown entirely manually if an emergency arose. The approach and landing phase could be controlled by the autopilot, but was usually hand flown.

Glowing plasma trail from Space Shuttle Atlantis re-entry as seen from the Space Station

The vehicle began re-entry by firing the Orbital maneuvering system engines, while flying upside down, backside first, in the opposite direction to orbital motion for approximately three minutes, which reduced the Shuttle's velocity by about 200 mph (322 km/h). The resultant slowing of the Shuttle lowered its orbital perigee down into the upper atmosphere. The Shuttle then flipped over, by pushing its nose down (which was actually "up" relative to the Earth, because it was flying upside down). This OMS firing was done roughly halfway around the globe from the landing site.

The vehicle started encountering more significant air density in the lower thermosphere at about 400,000 ft (120 km), at around Mach 25, 8,200 m/s (30,000 km/h; 18,000 mph). The vehicle was controlled by a combination of RCS thrusters and control surfaces, to fly at a 40-degree nose-up attitude, producing high drag, not only to slow it down to landing speed, but also to reduce reentry heating. As the vehicle encountered progressively denser air, it began a gradual transition from spacecraft to aircraft. In a straight line, its 40-degree nose-up attitude would cause the descent angle to flatten-out, or even rise. The vehicle therefore performed a series of four steep S-shaped banking turns, each lasting several minutes, at up to 70 degrees of bank, while still maintaining the 40-degree angle of attack. In this way it dissipated speed sideways rather than upwards. This occurred during the 'hottest' phase of re-entry, when the heat-shield glowed red and the G-forces were at their highest. By the end of the last turn, the transition to aircraft was almost complete. The vehicle leveled its wings, lowered its nose into a shallow dive and began its approach to the landing site.

The orbiter's maximum glide ratio/lift-to-drag ratio varies considerably with speed, ranging from 1:1 at hypersonic speeds, 2:1 at supersonic speeds and reaching 4.5:1 at subsonic speeds during approach and landing.[83]

In the lower atmosphere, the orbiter flies much like a conventional glider, except for a much higher descent rate, over 50 m/s (180 km/h; 110 mph) or 9,800 fpm. At approximately Mach 3, two air data probes, located on the left and right sides of the orbiter's forward lower fuselage, are deployed to sense air pressure related to the vehicle's movement in the atmosphere.

Final approach and landing phase Play media STS-127, Space Shuttle Endeavour landing video, 2009

When the approach and landing phase began, the orbiter was at a 3,000 m (9,800 ft) altitude, 12 km (7.5 mi) from the runway. The pilots applied aerodynamic braking to help slow down the vehicle. The orbiter's speed was reduced from 682 to 346 km/h (424 to 215 mph), approximately, at touch-down (compared to 260 km/h or 160 mph for a jet airliner). The landing gear was deployed while the Orbiter was flying at 430 km/h (270 mph). To assist the speed brakes, a 12 m (39 ft) drag chute was deployed either after main gear or nose gear touchdown (depending on selected chute deploy mode) at about 343 km/h (213 mph). The chute was jettisoned once the orbiter slowed to 110 km/h (68.4 mph).

Media related to Landings of space Shuttles at Wikimedia Commons

Main article: Orbiter Processing Facility Discovery after landing on Earth for crew disembarkment

After landing, the vehicle stayed on the runway for several hours for the orbiter to cool. Teams at the front and rear of the orbiter tested for presence of hydrogen, hydrazine, monomethylhydrazine, nitrogen tetroxide and ammonia (fuels and by-products of the reaction control system and the orbiter's three APUs). If hydrogen was detected, an emergency would be declared, the orbiter powered down and teams would evacuate the area. A convoy of 25 specially designed vehicles and 150 trained engineers and technicians approached the orbiter. Purge and vent lines were attached to remove toxic gases from fuel lines and the cargo bay about 45–60 minutes after landing. A flight surgeon boarded the orbiter for initial medical checks of the crew before disembarking. Once the crew left the orbiter, responsibility for the vehicle was handed from the Johnson Space Center back to the Kennedy Space Center.[84]

If the mission ended at Edwards Air Force Base in California, White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, or any of the runways the orbiter might use in an emergency, the orbiter was loaded atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified 747, for transport back to the Kennedy Space Center, landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Once at the Shuttle Landing Facility, the orbiter was then towed 2 miles (3.2 km) along a tow-way and access roads normally used by tour buses and KSC employees to the Orbiter Processing Facility where it began a months-long preparation process for the next mission.[84]

See also: List of space shuttle landing runways Atlantis deploys the landing gear before landing.

NASA preferred Space Shuttle landings to be at Kennedy Space Center.[85] If weather conditions made landing there unfavorable, the Shuttle could delay its landing until conditions are favorable, touch down at Edwards Air Force Base, California, or use one of the multiple alternate landing sites around the world. A landing at any site other than Kennedy Space Center meant that after touchdown the Shuttle must be mated to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and returned to Cape Canaveral. Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-3) once landed at the White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico; this was viewed as a last resort as NASA scientists believed that the sand could potentially damage the Shuttle's exterior.

There were many alternative landing sites that were never used.[86][87]

Discovery at ISS in 2011 (STS-133)

An example of technical risk analysis for a STS mission is SPRA iteration 3.1 top risk contributors for STS-133:[88][89]

  1. Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) strikes
  2. Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME)-induced or SSME catastrophic failure
  3. Ascent debris strikes to TPS leading to LOCV on orbit or entry
  4. Crew error during entry
  5. RSRM-induced RSRM catastrophic failure (RSRM are the rocket motors of the SRBs)
  6. COPV failure (COPV are tanks inside the orbiter that hold gas at high pressure)

An internal NASA risk assessment study (conducted by the Shuttle Program Safety and Mission Assurance Office at Johnson Space Center) released in late 2010 or early 2011 concluded that the agency had seriously underestimated the level of risk involved in operating the Shuttle. The report assessed that there was a 1 in 9 chance of a catastrophic disaster during the first nine flights of the Shuttle but that safety improvements had later improved the risk ratio to 1 in 90.[90]

Main article: List of Space Shuttle missions

Below is a list of major events in the Space Shuttle orbiter fleet.

OV-101 Enterprise takes flight for the first time over Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, California in 1977 as part of the Shuttle program's Approach and Landing Tests (ALT). Atlantis lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the STS-132 mission to the International Space Station at 2:20 pm EDT on May 14, 2010. This was one of the last scheduled flights for Atlantis before it was retired.

Sources: NASA launch manifest,[94] NASA Space Shuttle archive[95]

Main articles: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

On January 28, 1986, Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after launch due to the failure of the right SRB, killing all seven astronauts on board. The disaster was caused by low-temperature impairment of an O-ring, a mission critical seal used between segments of the SRB casing. Failure of the O-ring allowed hot combustion gases to escape from between the booster sections and burn through the adjacent external tank, causing it to explode.[96] Repeated warnings from design engineers voicing concerns about the lack of evidence of the O-rings' safety when the temperature was below 53 °F (12 °C) had been ignored by NASA managers.[97]

On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing its crew of seven, because of damage to the carbon-carbon leading edge of the wing caused during launch. Ground control engineers had made three separate requests for high-resolution images taken by the Department of Defense that would have provided an understanding of the extent of the damage, while NASA's chief thermal protection system (TPS) engineer requested that astronauts on board Columbia be allowed to leave the vehicle to inspect the damage. NASA managers intervened to stop the Department of Defense's assistance and refused the request for the spacewalk,[98] and thus the feasibility of scenarios for astronaut repair or rescue by Atlantis were not considered by NASA management at the time.[99]

Main article: Space Shuttle retirement Atlantis orbiter's final welcome home, 2011

NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011, after 30 years of service. The Shuttle was originally conceived of and presented to the public as a "Space Truck", which would, among other things, be used to build a United States space station in low earth orbit in the early 1990s. When the US space station evolved into the International Space Station project, which suffered from long delays and design changes before it could be completed, the retirement of the Space Shuttle was delayed several times until 2011, serving at least 15 years longer than originally planned. Discovery was the first of NASA's three remaining operational Space Shuttles to be retired.[100]

The final Space Shuttle mission was originally scheduled for late 2010, but the program was later extended to July 2011 when Michael Suffredini of the ISS program said that one additional trip was needed in 2011 to deliver parts to the International Space Station.[101] The Shuttle's final mission consisted of just four astronauts—Christopher Ferguson (Commander), Douglas Hurley (Pilot), Sandra Magnus (Mission Specialist 1), and Rex Walheim (Mission Specialist 2);[102] they conducted the 135th and last space Shuttle mission on board Atlantis, which launched on July 8, 2011, and landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011, at 5:57 AM EDT (09:57 UTC).[103] The U.S. has since relied on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Program commemorative patch

NASA announced it would transfer orbiters to education institutions or museums at the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program. Each museum or institution is responsible for covering the US$28.8 million cost of preparing and transporting each vehicle for display. Twenty museums from across the country submitted proposals for receiving one of the retired orbiters.[104] NASA also made Space Shuttle thermal protection system tiles available to schools and universities for less than US$25 each.[105] About 7,000 tiles were available on a first-come, first-served basis, limited to one per institution.[105]

On April 12, 2011, NASA announced selection of locations for the remaining Shuttle orbiters:[106][107]

Endeavour at Los Angeles International Airport

In August 2011, the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a "Review of NASA's Selection of Display Locations for the Space Shuttle Orbiters"; the review had four main findings:[108]

The NASA OIG had three recommendations, saying NASA should:[108]

In September 2011, the CEO and two board members of Seattle's Museum of Flight met with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, pointing out "significant errors in deciding where to put its four retiring Space Shuttles"; the errors alleged include inaccurate information on Museum of Flight's attendance and international visitor statistics, as well as the readiness of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum's exhibit site.[109]

Flight and mid-deck training hardware will be taken from the Johnson Space Center and will go to the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The full fuselage mockup, which includes the payload bay and aft section but no wings, is to go to the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Mission Simulation and Training Facility's fixed simulator will go to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and the motion simulator will go to the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Department in College Station, Texas. Other simulators used in Shuttle astronaut training will go to the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum in Starke, Florida and the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia.[104]

Main article: Space Shuttle retirement STS conducted numerous experiments in space, such as this ionization experiment Sprint cameras, tested by the Shuttle, may be used on ISS and other missions

Until another US manned spacecraft is ready, crews will travel to and from the International Space Station (ISS) exclusively aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

A planned successor to STS was the "Shuttle II", during the 1980s and 1990s, and later the Constellation program during the 2004–2010 period. CSTS was a proposal to continue to operate STS commercially, after NASA.[112] In September 2011, NASA announced the selection of the design for the new Space Launch System that is planned to launch the Orion spacecraft and other hardware to missions beyond low earth-orbit.[113][114][115]

The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program began in 2006 with the purpose of creating commercially operated unmanned cargo vehicles to service the ISS.[116] The Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program was started in 2010 to create commercially operated manned spacecraft capable of delivering at least four crew members to the ISS, to stay docked for 180 days, and then return them back to Earth.[117] These spacecraft were to become operational in the 2010s.[118]

Space Shuttles have been features of fiction and nonfiction, from children's movies to documentaries. Early examples include the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker, the 1982 Activision videogame Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space (1982) and G. Harry Stine's 1981 novel Shuttle Down. In the 1986 film SpaceCamp, Atlantis accidentally launches into space with a group of U.S. Space Camp participants as its crew. A space shuttle named Intrepid is featured in the 1989 film Moontrap.

The 1998 film Armageddon portrays a combined crew of offshore oil rig workers and US military staff who pilot two modified Shuttles to avert the destruction of Earth by an asteroid. Retired American test pilots visit a Russian satellite in the 2000 Clint Eastwood adventure film Space Cowboys. In the 2003 film The Core, the Endeavour's landing is disrupted by the Earth's magnetic core, and its crew is selected to pilot a vehicle designed to restart the core. The 2004 Bollywood movie Swades, where a Space Shuttle is used to launch a special rainfall monitoring satellite, was filmed at Kennedy Space Center in the year after the Columbia disaster that had taken the life of Indian-American astronaut KC Chawla.

On television, the 1996 drama The Cape portrays the lives of a group of NASA astronauts as they prepare for and fly Shuttle missions. Odyssey 5 was a short-lived sci-fi series that features the crew of a Space Shuttle as the last survivors of a disaster that destroys Earth. The 1997–2007 sci-fi series Stargate SG-1 has a shuttle rescue written into an episode.

The 2013 film Gravity features the fictional Space Shuttle Explorer during STS-157, whose crew are killed or left stranded after it is destroyed by a shower of high speed orbital debris. The 2017 Lego film The Lego Batman Movie features a hybrid between the Batmobile and a Space Shuttle, named "the Bat Space Shuttle" by Dick Grayson. It's clearly based on the Lego City set 3367 ("Space Shuttle"), but is black and weapon-equipped.

A United States Space Shuttle stamp

The Space Shuttle has also been the subject of toys and models; for example, a large Lego Space Shuttle model was constructed by visitors at Kennedy Space Center,[119] and smaller models have been sold commercially as a standard "LegoLand" set. A 1980 pinball machine Space Shuttle was produced by Zaccaria and a 1984 pinball machine Space Shuttle: Pinball Adventure was produced by Williams and features a plastic Space Shuttle model among other artwork of astronauts on the play field. The Space Shuttle also appears in a number of flight simulator and space flight simulator games such as Microsoft Space Simulator, Orbiter, FlightGear, X-Plane and Space Shuttle Mission 2007. Several Transformers toys were modeled after the Space Shuttle.

Main article: U.S. space exploration history on U.S. stamps § Space Shuttle Issues

The U.S. Postal Service has released several postage issues that depict the Space Shuttle. The first such stamps were issued in 1981, and are on display at the National Postal Museum.[120]

Space Shuttle program insignia

To And From the Airport - Airport Car Service

Airport Taxi Service Costs A car rapide share taxi in Senegal

A share taxi (also called shared taxi) is a mode of transport which falls between a taxicab and a bus. These vehicles for hire are typically smaller than buses and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, but instead departing when all seats are filled. They may stop anywhere to pick up or drop off their passengers. Often found in developing countries,[1] the vehicles used as share taxis range from four-seat cars to minibuses.[2] They are often owner-operated.

The UITP term "informal transport" includes share taxis.

A given share taxi route may start and finish in fixed central locations, and landmarks may serve as route names or route termini. In some African cities routes are run between formal termini,[3] where the majority[4] of passengers board.[3] In these places the share taxis wait for a full load of passengers prior to departing, and off-peak wait times may be in excess of an hour.[3]

In other places there may be no formal termini, with taxis simply congregating at a central location,[5] instead.

Even more-formal terminals may be little more than parking lots.[6]

In South Africa, its also referred to as a rank, which denotes an area specifically built, by a municipality or city, for taxi operators, where commuters may start and end their journey.[7]

Where they exist, share taxis provide service on set routes within and sometimes between towns.

After a share taxi has picked up passengers at its terminus, it proceeds along a semi-fixed route where the driver may determine the actual route within an area according to traffic condition. Drivers will stop anywhere to allow riders to disembark, and may sometimes do the same when prospective passengers want to ride.

While all share taxis share certain characteristics—and many regional versions exhibit peculiarities—some basic operational distinctions can be delineated.

Most share taxis are operated under one of two regimes. Some share taxis are operated by a company. For example, in Dakar there are company-owned fleets of hundred of car rapides.[8] In Soviet Union, share taxis, known as marshrutka, were operated by state-owned taxi parks.[9] There are also individual operators in many countries. In Africa, while there are company share taxis, individual owners are more common. Rarely owning more than two vehicles at a time, they will rent out a minibus to operators, who pay fuel and other running costs, and keep revenue.[8]

In some places, like some African cities and also Hong Kong, share taxi minibuses are overseen by syndicates, unions, or route associations.[10] These groups often function in the absence of a regulatory environment[3] and may collect dues or fees from drivers[11] (such as per-use terminal payments,[12] sometimes illegally), set routes,[12] manage terminals, and fix fares.[3] Terminal management may include ensuring each vehicle leaves with a full load of passengers.[3][12]

Because the syndicates represent owners, their regulatory efforts tend to favor operators rather than passengers,[12] and the very termini syndicates upkeep can cost delays and money for passengers as well as forcing them to disembark at inconvenient locations, in a phenomenon called "terminal constraint".[13]

In Africa, regulation is mainly something that pertains to the vehicle itself[14] not its operator[14] or its mode of operation.[citation needed]

In Kenya, regulation does extend to operators[15][16] and mode of operation (such as routes used)[citation needed] as well as the vehicle[17]

As of 2008, African minibuses are difficult to tax,[11] and may operate in a "regulatory vacuum" perhaps because their existence is not part of a government scheme, but is simply a market response to a growing demand for such services.[8] Route syndicates[18] and operator's associations[13] often exercise unrestricted control, and existing rules may see little enforcement.[18]

Share taxi is a unique mode of transport independent of vehicle type. Minibuses,[11] midibuses, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, and lorries see use as share taxis.

Certain vehicle types may be better-suited to current condition than others. In many traffic-choked, sprawling, and low-density African cities minibuses profit.[11]

In Israel they were mostly the largest model of Mercedes, owned generally by Arabs, and very efficient, having space for 7-8 people, and having loosely fixed routes, dropping a passenger either at a specific terminus or going a little out of way to facilitate the passenger.

While carrying different names and distinguished by regional peculiarities, the share taxi is an everyday feature of life in many places throughout the world.

An Angkot in Bandung, West Java A three-wheeler Bemo in Jakarta. It also serves as a share taxi like Angkots

Angkutan Kota abbreviated Angkot or Mikrolet are share taxis in Indonesia widely operating throughout the country usually with Mini vans. In some places there are also three-wheelers which are called Bemo (such as autorickshaws based on the Daihatsu Midget). The older version of Angkot is called Oplet. The name of this transportation differs from each different province or area in the country. In Jakarta, it is called Angkot, in other parts such as in Sulawesi, the term Mikrolet shortened Mikro is more widely used especially in Manado. In Makassar it is called "Pete-Pete", in Malang it is called "Angkota", in Medan it is called "Sudako".

It runs accordingly with its exact routes and passengers can stop the van anywhere according to its destination, and is not required to stop at a bus stop or station.

In some towns in Northern Ireland, notably certain districts in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry and Newry, share taxi services operate using Hackney carriages and are called black taxis. These services developed during The Troubles as public bus services were often interrupted due to street rioting. Taxi collectives are closely linked with political groups – those operating in Catholic areas with Sinn Féin, those in Protestant areas with loyalist paramilitaries and their political wings.

Typically, fares approximate to those of Translink operated bus services on the same route. Service frequencies are typically higher than on bus services, especially at peak times, although limited capacities mean that passengers living close to the termini may find it difficult to find a black taxi with seats available in the rush hour.

A Toyota Corolla estate bush taxi

Three main vehicle types are used as bush taxis (French taxi brousse, Mandinka tanka tanka): the station wagon, the minibus, and the lorry. Many are previously owned vehicles imported from Europe or Japan; others are assembled from parts in regional centres such as Nigeria or Kenya. The original seating of the vehicles is usually stripped out in order to fit benches with more passenger space. In addition, more people generally sit on each bench than would be the case in more-developed countries. They are often in poor condition, though wealthier countries tend to have better-maintained vehicles.

In the past, most station-wagon bush taxis were modified 1980s-model Peugeot 504s. In some countries they are known as "five-seaters" or "seven-seaters" (French sept-place), but in fact, they may seat nine passengers or more in three rows of seats. Other models, such as the Peugeot 505 or the Toyota Corolla have since supplanted the 504 in some countries, and are gaining ground in others.

The bush taxi, a type of public light bus frequently used in West-Africa

Typically two passengers are seated on the front seat next to the driver, and four passengers in each of the two back rows. Sometimes, in particular on less-frequented routes, bush taxis are more crowded, and passengers might even sit on the roof or the boot. Bush taxis in wealthier countries tend to be less crowded. For example, in Nigeria bush taxis (of both the station wagon or minibus type) are called three-across or four-across according to the number of passengers seated in each row.

The minibus (a van-like vehicle seating 12 to 20 passengers; French minicar) is quickly becoming the most common type of bush taxi in West and Central Africa, especially for longer trips. Due to the vehicles' larger size, drivers often employ a helper who rides in the back of the vehicle and tells the driver when to stop to let people off, and helps load and unload baggage. Minibuses tend to travel slower than cars, and they take longer to fill up and to pass through police checkpoints. These vehicles generally charge more than standard buses but less than Peugeot-type bush taxis. Frequently used models in West-Africa are the Renault Super Goélette, the Saviem Super Goelette 2, and the Isuzu Kitamura minibus. The Goelette is also used frequently in Vietnam and Madagascar as a share taxi.[19]

Lorries are also used as bush taxis (French bâché): they are normal lorries (trucks) with benches along the sides of the bed for passengers. There is often a cover for the bed as well. Lorries are more robustly made (and give a rougher ride) than purpose-built passenger vehicles; routes over worse roads and to more remote areas are often serviced by lorries.

Carros Públicos (literally "Public Cars") are share taxis in the Dominican Republic[20] and Puerto Rico.[21]

In the Dominican Republic, these privately owned vehicles[22] run fixed routes[20][22] with no designated stops, and the ride is shared with other passengers.[20]

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against traveling in Dominican Republic carros públicos because doing so makes passengers targets for robbery, and because the taxis are known to, "disregard traffic laws, often resulting in serious accidents involving injuries and sometimes death."[23] The US Department of State also warns that using them is hazardous, as passengers often have their pockets picked, and are sometimes robbed by the drivers themselves.[22]

In Puerto Rico, carros públicos ply set routes with several passengers sharing the ride[24] and others picked up throughout the journey.[21]

The industry is regulated by the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission.[5]

While these cars do travel inter-city, they may not be available for longer, cross-island travel.[5] Stations may exist in cities, and Puerto Rican carros públicos may congregate in specific places around town.[5]

Minibus public transports in Rwanda may be called coaster buses,[25] share taxis, or twegerane.[10] The latter could easily be a word meaning "stuffed" or "full".[25]

As of 2011 in Kigali, Rwanda, syndicates include ATRACO and ONATRACOM,[10] but an independent transport authority is absent.[26]

Colectivos operated as share taxis from the late 1920s until the 1950s in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they were integrated into the public transportation system. Vehicles still known as colectivos operate throughout the country, but have long been indistinguishable from buses.[27]

Main article: Dala-dala A dala dala in the city of Dar es Salaam

Minivans (minibuses may be a more correct term here) are used as vehicles for hire and referred to as dala dala in Tanzania.[28] While dala dala may run fixed routes picking up passengers at central locations, they will also stop along the route to drop someone off or allow a prospective passenger to board.[28] Before minibuses became widely used, the typical dala dala was a pick-up truck with benches placed in the truck bed.[29]

In Dar es Salaam, publicly operated minibus service may also exist as of 2008.[10]

Usually run by both a driver and a conductor,[28] the latter is called a mpigadebe, literally meaning "a person who hits a debe" (a 4-gallon tin container used for transporting gasoline or water). The name is in reference to the fact that conductors are often hitting the roof and side of the van to attract customers and notify the driver when to leave the station.

These often-crowded[28] public transports have their routes allocated by a Tanzania transport regulator, Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA),[30] but syndicates also exist and include DARCOBOA.[10]

Play media Play media The danfo share taxi and molue minibuses are iconic of transport in Lagos, Nigeria.

In Nigeria, both minibuses (called danfo[31]) and midibuses (molue)[10] may be operated as share taxis. Such public transports may also be referred to as bolekaja, and many may bear slogans or sayings.[Thompson 1]

Lagos, Nigeria, has a transport-dedicated regulator, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Agency (LAMATA),[26] its remit most probably includes share taxi activity.[citation needed] Outside of Lagos, most major cities in Africa have similar systems of transport.[32]

Syndicates in Lagos may include National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW).[10]

Karsan-built Peugeot J9 Premier dolmuş in Bodrum, Turkey

In Turkey and Turkish controlled Northern Cyprus dolmuş (pronounced "dolmush") are share taxis that run on set routes within and between cities.[33] Each of these cars or minibuses displays their particular route on signboards behind the windscreen.[33]

Some cities may only allow dolmuş to pick up and disembark passengers at designated stops, and terminals also exist.[33] The word derives from Turkish for "full" or "stuffed", as these share taxis depart from the terminal only when a sufficient number of passengers have boarded.[34] Visitors to Turkey have been surprised by the speed of dolmuş travel.[35]

These share taxis are also found in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus under the same name.[34] Traveling intra and inter-city, the privately owned minibuses or aging Mercedes stretch limos are overseen by a governance institution; routes are leased and vehicles licensed.[34] Passengers board anywhere along the route (you may have to get the driver to stop if he doesn't honk at you) as well as at termini and official stations.[34] Dolmuş in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus display their routes but don't follow timetables. Instead, they simply appear frequently.[34]

Those in Kinshasa, DRC, (or perhaps just the Kongo people) may call share taxis fula fula meaning "quick quick".[Thompson 2]

There was no independent transport authority in the city of Kinshasa as of 2008.[26]

In Côte d'Ivoire, gbaka are a name for minibus public transports.[10]

The transport regulator in Abidjan, CI, is Agence de Gestion des Transports Urbains[26] or AGETU.[18]

As of 2008, Abidjan public transport was serviced by large buses as well as minibuses.[36]

Syndicates include UPETCA, SNTMVCI.[10]

In Morocco, grands taxis are the name for large, unmetered, shared taxicabs used for transportation between towns.[37] Grands taxis are generally old full-size Mercedes-Benz sedans, and seat six or more passengers.[37]

A typical jeepney Main article: Jeepney

The most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines as of 2007,[38] jeepneys were originally made out of US military jeeps left over from World War II[39] and are known for their color and flamboyant decoration.[38] Today the jeepneys are built by local body shops from a combination of prefabricated elements (from handful Filipino manufacturers) and improvisation and in most cases equipped with "surplus" or used Japanese SUV or light truck engines, drive train, suspension and steering components (from recycled vehicles in Japan).

They have not changed much since their post-war creation, even in the face of an increased access to pre-made vehicles, such as minibuses.[citation needed]

Jeepneys have the entrance on the back, and there is space for two people beside the driver (or more if they are small). The back of the Jeepney is equipped with two long bench seats along the sides and the people seated closest to the driver are responsible for passing the fare of new passengers forward to the driver and the change back to the passenger. The start and end point of the Jeepney route is often a Jeepney terminal, where there is a queue system so only one Jeepney plying a particular route is filled at a time, and where a person helps the driver to collect fares and fill the vehicles with people, usually to more than comfortable capacity.

Preferring to leave only when full and only stop for a crowd of potential passengers,[40] riders can nonetheless disembark at any time;[41] and while jeepneys ply fixed routes,[38] these may be subject to change over time.[42] New ones may need approval from a Philippine transport regulator.[43] Jeepney stations do exist.[44]

Main article: Dollar van

Jitney is an American English term that originally referred to a vehicle for hire intermediate between a taxi and a bus.[45] They are generally small-capacity vehicles that follow a rough service route, but can go slightly out of their way to pick up and drop off passengers. In many US cities (e.g. Pittsburgh and Detroit), the term jitney refers to an unlicensed taxi cab.

The name comes from an archaic, colloquial term for a five-cent piece in the US (the nickel). The common fare for the service when it first came into use was five cents, so the "five-cent cab" or "jitney cab" came to be known for the price charged.

In Rhode Island a jitney license plate is used for all public passenger buses, even for larger ones.

Jitney in Atlantic City, United States in 2008

While jitneys became fairly common in many other countries, such as the Philippines, they first appeared in the US and Canada. The first US jitneys ran in 1914 in Los Angeles, California. By 1915, there were 62,000 nationwide. Local regulations, demanded by streetcar companies, killed the jitney in most places. By the end of 1916, only 6,000 jitneys remained.[46] Similarly, in Vancouver, Canada, in the 1920s, jitneys competed directly with the streetcar monopoly operating along the same routes as the streetcars, but jitneys were charging lower fares.[47] Operators were referred to as "jitney men." They were so successful that the city government banned them at the request of the streetcar operators.

Since the 1973 oil crisis (as well as the mid-20th-century decline in transit service), jitneys have reappeared in some areas of the US, particularly in inner city areas once served by streetcars and private buses. An increase in bus fares usually leads to a significant rise in jitney usage. Liberalization of jitneys is often encouraged by libertarian urban economists, such as University of Chicago's Richard Epstein, Rutgers' James Dunn, and USC's Peter Gordon, as a more "market-friendly" alternative to public transportation. Concerns over fares, insurance liabilities, and passenger safety have kept legislative support for jitneys decidedly tepid. Nevertheless, in New York City and northern New Jersey, jitneys (known as "dollar vans" because of their original price) are regulated.

Miami has the country's most comprehensive jitney network, due to Caribbean influence. In Atlanta jitneys run along Buford Highway.

In Atlantic City the ACJA operates a jitney service that travels the main strip of casinos. One of the routes also services the new cluster of casinos west of Atlantic City proper.

In 2009, the Houston Waves, Houston's first jitney service in 17 years, started running. It has expanded into a network of buses operating within Loop 610 and to all special event venues in Houston.

The term kia kia may be used in Yorùbáland to refer to minibus public transports, and means "quick quick".[Thompson 1]

Share taxis in Estonia are mostly found in Tallinn, the capital.[citation needed] Called liinitakso, marsruuttakso, taksobuss or mikroautobuss depending on the language spoken, these minibuses run fixed routes and allow passengers to disembark at any time.[48]

Share taxis in Tunisia are called louage and follow fixed or semi-fixed routes, departing from stations when full.[49] Usually minibuses or compact cars,[49] although some louage are station wagons,[50] passengers may board and disembark at any point during travel.[49]

They run between towns and within cities.[49]

Four marshrutkas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Main article: Marshrutka

Marshrutka[1][51] or marshrutnoe taksi[52] are share taxis found in Eastern Europe[1][51] and the republics of the former Soviet Union.[53] Usually vans,[1] they drive along set routes, usually depart only when all seats are filled,[51][53] and may have higher fares than buses.[1][53] Passengers can board a marshrutka anywhere along its route if there are seats available.[51][53]

As fares are usually paid before the marshrutka leaves,[53][54] which seat you choose can have consequences. Riders nearer the driver are responsible for handing up the other passengers' fares and passing back change.[53][54]

In Lithuania, share taxis are called maršrutinis taksi.

Main article: Matatu

In Kenya, Uganda, and neighboring nations[55][56][57] matatu are privately owned[58] minibuses,[17] although pick-up trucks were in the past pressed into service[55] as these East African public transports whose decoration often features portraits of the famous.[16][59] Slogans and sayings also appear,[60] some religious.[59][60] In addition to a driver, matatu may be staffed by a tout,[58] conductor,[15][61][62] or porter.[63]

They may ply set routes,[64] display this route,[61] run from termini,[17][65] run both inter and intra-city,[64][66] and may stop along said route to purchase or collect money from passengers.

As of 1999, matatu could have been the only form of public transport in Nairobi, Kenya,[58] but this may not have been the case in 2006[64] and 2008.[67] As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, may only be serviced by minibuses.[67]

The name is a Swahili colloquialism,[56] and were it convenient,[citation needed] passengers could even pay for their journeys via cell phone.[68] The name is literally a conjugation of the word "three", and derives from their original price, three shillings "mashilingi matatu".

In Kenya, this industry is regulated,[58] and such minibuses must, by law, be fitted with seatbelts[17] and speed governors.[15][17] Present regulation may not be sufficient deterrent to prevent small infractions[61] as even decoration may be prohibited.[15] Kenya has one of the "most extensive regulatory controls to market entry",[13] and a matatu worker can be pulled from the streets simply for sporting too loud a shirt.[16]

As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, has no independent transport authority,[26] but transport is authorised by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA).[3] In Kampala the informal vehicles are called taxis. [4]

Egyptian share cabs are generally known as micro-bus (mekrobass ميكروباص or mašrūʿ مشروع, "project"; plural mekrobassāt ميكروباصات or mašarīʿ مشاريع). The second name is used by Alexandrians.

Micro-buses are licensed by each governorate as taxicabs, and are generally operated privately by their drivers. Although each governorate attempts to maintain a consistent paint scheme for them, in practice the color of them varies wildly, as the "consistent" schemes have changed from time to time and many drivers have not bothered to repaint their cars.

Rates vary depending on distance traveled, although these rates are generally well known to those riding the micro-bus. The fares also depend on the city. Riders can typically hail micro-buses from any point along the route, often with well-established hand signals indicating the prospective rider's destination, although certain areas tend to be well-known micro-bus stops.

Like the Eastern European marshrutka, a typical micro-bus is a large van, most often a Toyota HiAce or its Jinbei equivalent, the Haise, and the latter is produced by the Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Group in 6th of October City in Egypt. Smaller vans and larger small buses are also used.

Sharing ajans in Tehran

In Iran a share taxi is usually called "taxi", while a non-share is called "ajans"/اژانس, pronounced [aʒans]. Four passengers share a taxi and sometimes there is no terminus and they wait in the street side and blare their destination to all taxies until one of them stops. These are regular taxies but if somebody wants to get a non-share taxi he can call for an ajans (taxi service) for himself or wait in the street side and say 'DARBAST' (which means non-share). It means he is not interested in sharing the taxi and is consequently willing to pay more for the privilege.

Minibuses, in the past years, with a capacity of 18 passengers, and nowadays van taxies, with a capacity of 10 passengers are other kinds of share transport in Iran.[69]

Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa. They are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more-traditional taxicabs because they are generally cheap, operate on diverse routes, and are available in abundance. All minibus taxis in Ethiopia have a standard blue-and-white coloring scheme, much like the yellow color of New York taxis except it isn't yellow. Minibus taxis are usually Toyota Hiaces, frequent the streets. They typically can carry 11 passengers, but will always have room for another until that is no longer the case. The minibus driver has a crew member called a weyala, and his job is to collect the fare from passengers.

In 2008, publicly operated public transport was available in Addis Ababa in addition to that provided by the minibuses.[67] A fleet of 350 large buses may operate for this purpose,[citation needed] as such a number does exist.[36] Also as of 2008, the city lacks an independent transport authority,[26] but some regulation, such as that controlling market entry, does exist.[13]

Route syndicates may be a presence but are described as "various".[10]

Cape Town minibus taxi rank See also: Taxi wars in South Africa

Over 60% of South African commuters use shared minibus taxis (16 seater commuter buses).

Many of these vehicles are unsafe and not roadworthy, and often dangerously overloaded.[citation needed]

Prior to 1987, the taxi industry in South Africa was highly regulated and controlled.[citation needed] Black taxi operators were declined permits in the Apartheid era and all minibus taxi operations were, by their very nature, illegal.

Post 1987, the industry was rapidly deregulated, leading to an influx of new minibus taxi operators, keen to make money off the high demand for this service. Taxi operators banded together to form local and national associations. Because the industry was largely unregulated and the official regulating bodies corrupt,[citation needed] these associations soon engaged in anti-competitive price fixing and exhibited gangster tactics – including the hiring of hit-men and all-out gang warfare.[70] During the height of the conflict, it was not uncommon for taxi drivers to carry shotguns and AK-47s to simply shoot rival taxi drivers and their passengers on sight.[citation needed]

Currently the South African Government is attempting to formalize and re-regulate the out-of-control minibus taxi industry. Along with new legislation, the government has instituted a 7-year recapitalization scheme to replace the old and unroadworthy vehicles with new 18- and 35-seater minibuses. These new minibus taxis carry the South African flag on the side and are notably more spacious and safe.

A public light bus (left) and a double-decker bus (right) in Hong Kong. Main article: Public light bus

Public light buses (Chinese: 公共小型巴士), also known as minibus or maxicab (Chinese: 小巴), run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas which the standard bus lines cannot or do not reach as frequently, quickly or directly.

Typically offering a faster and more efficient transportation solution due to their small size, limited carrying capacity, frequency and diverse range of routes, although they are generally slightly more expensive than standard buses, minibuses carry a maximum of 16 seated passengers. Standing passengers are not allowed.

There are two types of public light minibus, green and red. Both types have a cream-coloured body, the distinguishing feature being the colour of the external roof, and the type of service that the colour denotes: green is like regular transit bus with fixed number, route, schedule and fare (but generally not fixed stops); red is a shared taxi, operating on semi-fixed route unregulated, with the driver waiting for enough passengers to justify leaving, as his income depends on the revenue.

In Guatemala, ruleteros, minibus share taxis, pick up and discharge passengers along major streets.[71][72]

In New Zealand the first widespread motor vehicle services were shared taxi services termed service cars; a significant early provider was Aard, operating elongated Hudson Super-Six Coaches.[73] By 1930 there were 597 service cars.[74] Aard was taken over by New Zealand Railways Road Services in 1928.[73] Shared taxis in New Zealand nowadays are referred to as Shuttles or Shuttle vans (see below).

In Cyprus, there are privately owned share taxis that travel to set destinations and board additional passengers en route called service taxis.[75]

Shared taxis–and they are known by that exact name–have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970s. These are more like a point-to-point service that operates only during the peak hours than other share taxis. During off-peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis; they can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter.

But during peak hours several of them will operate as shared taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a sign saying "shared taxis" and the cabs will line up at this point during peak hours.

They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens–which takes less than a few minutes–the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination but higher than a bus or train fare.

Share jeeps are a common form of transportation in the Himalayas, the North Eastern States and elsewhere.[76]

Sherut taxis

Sherut (pl. moniot sherut) is a Hebrew word meaning "service". Also referring to vans[77][78][79] that serve as share taxis in Israel, these can be picked up from sherut stations.[77] They follow fixed routes[77][78] (sometimes the same routes as public transport buses[77]), leave when full,[77][80] and will only disembark passengers along the route.[77] Moniyot sherut operate both inter[78][81] and intra-city.[78] Payment is often done by passing money to the driver in a "human chain" formed by the passengers seated before. The change (and the receipt, when requested) are returned to the person who paid by the same means. In intra-city routes, where they compete with official buses, the drivers usually coordinate their travel by radio so that they can arrive at the bus station just before public transport buses and take the most passengers.

Called "ser-vees" (service taxi) by Palestinians, in the West Bank vans are replaced by minibuses, for a while "Ford Transit" model was predominant in the Palestinian occupied territories,[82] hence the names "Ford" and "Fordat"(pl) are used to describe minibuses of various makes, which replaced aging Mercedes sedans previously used widely,[78] etc.

A shuttle van service to Dunedin International Airport picks up a passenger at Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand

Shared buses or vans are available in many more developed countries connecting frequent destinations, charging a fixed fee per passenger. The most common case is a connection between an airport and central city locations. These services are often known as shuttles. Such services usually use smaller vehicles than normal buses, and often operate on demand. An air traveller can contact the shuttle company by telephone or Internet, not necessarily in advance; the company will ensure that a shuttle is provided without unreasonable delay. The shuttle will typically connect one airport with several large hotels, or addresses in a specified area of the city. The shuttle offers much of the convenience of a taxi, although taking longer, at a price which is significantly lower for one or two passengers. Scheduled services between an airport and a hotel, usually operated by the hotel, are also called shuttles.

In many cases the shuttle operator takes the risk of there not being enough passengers to make the trip profitable; in others there is a minimum charge when there are not enough passengers.[83]

Usually there are regulations covering vehicles and drivers; for example in New Zealand under NZTA regulations, shuttles are only allowed to have up to eleven passenger seats, and the driver must have a passenger endorsement (P) on their drivers' licence.

Main article: Songthaew

Literally "two rows"[citation needed] a songthaew or song thaew[84] (Thai สองแถว, Lao: ສອງແຖວ [sɔ̌ːŋtʰíw]) is a passenger vehicle in Thailand[84] and Laos[85] adapted from a pick-up[85] or a larger truck and used as a share taxi. They are also known as baht buses.

In Mali, at least two words for share taxi may have common currency sotrama and dourouni.[10]

As of 2008, Bamako, Mali, has no independent transport authority,[26] but share taxi activity could fall under regulator Direction de la régulation et du contrôle du transport urbain (municipal) or DRCTU control.[18]

a Haitian tap tap Main article: Tap tap

Tap taps, gaily painted buses[86][87] or pick-up trucks,[87] and publiques, usually older saloon cars,[88] serve as share taxis in Haiti.

Tap taps are privately owned and beautifully decorated.[86] They follow fixed routes;[89] won't leave until filled with passengers;[87][89] and many feature wild colors, portraits of famous people, and intricate, hand-cut wooden window covers.[86] Often they are painted with religious names or slogans.[Thompson 3] Riders can disembark at any point in the journey.[87][89] Their name refers to "fast motion".[Thompson 4]

The publiques operate on fixed routes and pick up additional passengers all along the way.[88]

While saying not to use any form of public transport in Haiti, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against tap tap travel especially.[90] The US State Department also warns travelers not to use tap taps, "because they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely."[91]

In Algeria, taxis collectifs ply fixed routes with their destination displayed.[92] Rides are shared with others who are picked up along the way,[93] and the taxi will leave only when it seats all the passengers it can.[94] While stations, set locations to board and disembark,[citation needed] exist,[95][96] prospective passengers flag down a taxis collectifs when they want a ride.[92]

Operating inter[97][98] and intra-city,[citation needed] taxis collectifs that travel between towns may be called interwilaya taxis.[99]

Along with all forms of public transport in Algeria, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recommend against using these share taxis.[93] The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs asks that you use taxis recommended by a hotel.[100]

See also: Société de transport de Montréal and Réseau de transport de Longueuil § Shared taxi

In Quebec, share taxis or jitneys are called taxis collectifs[101] (in English "collective taxis"[102]) or transport collectif par taxi[103] (which may be translated in English as "taxibus"[104]) and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities[104][105][106][107] on fixed routes.[citation needed]

In the case of the Montréal the fare is the same as local bus fare, but no cash and transfers are issued or accepted;[108] in case of the STL only bus passes.[105][109] The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and some Réseau de transport métropolitain TRAM passes.[110]

See also: Pesero and Combi Yellow Taxi Colectivo in Chile

Often share taxi routes in Mexico are ad hoc arrangements to fill in gaps in regular public transportation, and many operate inter-city as well as local routes. In many rural areas, they are the only public transportation.

In some cases truck/taxi combination vehicles have evolved to transport light goods as well as passengers. Heavily used share taxi routes often evolve into regulated microbus public transit routes, as has occurred in Mexico City and in Lima.

Taxis colectivos are also found in Perú, Chile, Guatemala, and Argentina, where they are most commonly referred to simply as colectivos, although in some places they have become essentially standard buses.[27]

Besides the conventional deeltaxi, there are treintaxis in some Dutch towns. Operated on behalf of the Netherlands Railways,[citation needed] they run to and from railway stations and the ride is shared with additional passengers picked up along the way.[111] Tickets can be purchased at railway ticket offices or from the cabdriver,[111] but treintaxis must be ordered by phone unless boarding at a railway station.[111]

In Ghana and neighboring countries, tro tro are privately owned[112][113][114] minibus vehicles for hire that travel fixed routes[114] leaving when filled to capacity.[112][113] While there are tro tro stations,[114][115][116] these share taxis can also be boarded anywhere along the route.[112][113][114]

Operated by a driver and a conductor, who collects money, shouts out the destination, and is called a "mate",[114][117] many are decorated with slogans and sayings,[117] often religious,[112] and few operate on Sundays.[113]

As of 2008, there is no independent transport authority in Accra, Ghana,[26] and the share taxi industry may be wholly unregulated.

Tro tro are used by 70% of Ghanaian commuters.[118] This popularity may be because in cities such as Accra have no public transportation system save for these small minibuses.[67]

Large buses also provide public transport in Accra, as of 2008.[36]

An informal means of transportation, in Ghana they are licensed by the government, but the industry is self-regulated.[114] In Accra, syndicates include GPRTU and PROTOA.[10]

Share taxis do exist in Cameroon, but as of 2008 minibuses cannot be used for this purpose, by law.[8] That same year, Douala, Cameroon, also was without an independent transport authority.[26]

In Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, the share taxi role is not filled by the traditional African minibus.[8]

In Athens, Greece most taxis were share taxis,[119] but since the country joined the EU this tradition started to dissappear.

In Saint Lucia, waychehs are a name for minibus public transports using Toyota HiAce.

Modern Paratransit services, also known as demand responsive transport systems in the UK, can provide shared transport services in situations where scheduled services are not viable. Traditionally these services had to be booked a day in advance, but are becoming increasingly responsive using modern communications systems with a central booking system accessed by phone or internet and instant communications with GPS tracked vehicles. Unlike scheduled services the vehicles need not operate on fixed routes of timetables, although they do often have constrained routes.

Some newer taxi share systems now use internet and mobile phone communications for booking and scheduling purposes, with the actual service provided by normal hackney carriage or Private Hire vehicles. Prospective passengers make bookings and supply destination details using SMS to a central server which aggregates these travel requests and creates packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers.

There are many operators of airport shuttle services between Airports and Hotels around the world that operate on flexible routing and timing to offer a service that is both cheaper than a sole-occupancy taxi and also often more convenient that other forms of public transport. The requirement to carry luggage offers an added incentive to use such services over scheduled transport which will normally require a walk from the drop-off location to the final destination. Services from these operators are starting to spread from airports to railway stations and to other locations.

Main article: Demand responsive transport

Some operators and/or governments around the world are now offering demand-based shared transport to residents in community with low ridership numbers, which could help maintain the existence of public transport. Operations are predefined according to bookings.

  1. ^ a b Tap-tap, fula-fula, kia-kia: The Haitian bus in Atlantic perspective. Thompson, Robert Farris. African Arts. Los Angeles: Spring 1996. Vol. 29, Iss. 2; p. 41.
  2. ^ Thompson, p. 39.
  3. ^ Thompson, pp. 37, 38, 44, 45.
  4. ^ Thompson, p. 36.
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For safety and for environmental considerations Taxi Cab Number in East Rand, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, Airport Driver Service after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

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These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

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The traveler no longer has to depend on rented cars and driving them through rush-hour traffic. After the long journey by flight, Cheap Taxi Service he could take the luxurious, relaxing ride to his hotel, home or office.They have professional chauffeurs who have been trained to accommodate customer needs. They possess the required expertise and knowledge to conduct the traveler to and from the destination. They know the city roads like the back of their hands and can help the traveler reach his destination on time, even if the normal city roads are choked with traffic.

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Taxi Service To Airport Price Wiki Wiki Shuttle bus

The Wiki Wiki Shuttle is a fare-free shuttle bus system at the Honolulu International Airport. Shuttles run between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm local time, carrying people and baggage between the various terminals.

In the Hawaiian language the word "wiki" means quick, and "wiki wiki" implies very quick. The shuttle's name inspired Ward Cunningham to call his new website "WikiWikiWeb" in 1994.[1] Cunningham's site was designed to allow visitors to the site to edit its content, and this type of website came to be known as a "wiki," a prominent example of which is Wikipedia.

"Wiki-Wiki Bus stop" sign at Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii, in 2001

The airport is moving away from dependence on the Wiki Wiki buses, which were put in place in 1970 as "an interim measure". After more than three decades of operations, travelers still complain about the hot, slow, outdated buses. As was reported to the press, not only are the buses somewhat inconvenient and uncomfortable, they also put a huge strain on the building structure due to their weight and level of activity.[2]

In November 2004, local media reported that the shuttle would be replaced by an air-conditioned walkway.[3] The first phase of that change was completed in October 2005, giving international travelers the option of an air-conditioned hallway with a moving sidewalk instead of the open-air buses.[4]

The buses were formerly run by the Aircraft Services International Group. In April 2009, the airport signed a new contract for the shuttle buses to be managed by Roberts Hawaii, and the signage on the shuttles was changed from "WikiWiki shuttle" to "HNL shuttle".[5][6]

In 2013 the buses were still or again in active service in Honolulu airport,[7] but their usage will be reduced for international arrivals thanks to the walkway that has been in use since the end of 2010.[8]

As of 2013 the shuttle is still being used. New buses have been added, and they are once more labelled "Wiki Wiki".[9][10]

Shuttle-UM

Affordable Airport Transfer Service First London & London General AEC Routemasters on The Strand

The privatisation of London bus services was the process of the transfer of operation of London Buses from public bodies to private companies.

For half a century, operation of London bus services for public transport was under the direct control of a number of entities known as London Transport. The London Regional Transport Act 1984 resulted in London Regional Transport taking control of London's bus routes, with the operation divested in stand alone companies that were privatised in 1994/95.

Since then, direct provision of bus services in London has been run by private companies, although Transport for London did operate its own company, East Thames Buses between 1999 and 2009.

Unlike those in the rest of the United Kingdom, the bus services in London, although still ultimately privatised, were not deregulated to the same extent. In London, details of routes, fares and services levels were still specified by public bodies, with the right to run the services contracted to private companies on a tendered basis.

The privatised period produced for the first time buses in London painted in different schemes from the traditional red. This ceased following a 1997 edict that London buses be 80% red.

London Buses MCW Metrobus at Piccadilly Circus in October 1987

On 29 June 1984, in the general move towards deregulation, responsibility for running London bus services transferred from the last public body running London's buses, the Greater London Council to London Regional Transport under the London Regional Transport Act 1984. This Act required arm's-length subsidiaries to be established to oversee operation of bus services, and on 29 March 1985 London Buses Limited[1] was incorporated.[2]

Initially, bus livery continued to be all-over red with a simple solid white roundel, but in 1987 this livery was revised with the addition of a grey skirt and a white mid-level relief line; in the same year a modified red and yellow roundel, with the name 'London Buses' in capitals, was introduced.[3]

Grey-Green Alexander bodied Volvo Citybus as used on route 24

Under the 1984 Act, London bus services were to be tendered. The first round of tendering took place in the summer of 1985, bringing the first private operator into the market, in the form of London Buslines on route 81. By 1988 Boro'line Maidstone, Grey-Green and Metrobus were also operating numerous London routes.[4]

Controversially, these operators were allowed to operate buses in liveries other than standard red, meaning that for the first time it was possible for non-red buses to run into the centre of London, such as those on high-profile route 24 operated by Grey-Green. The only requirement was to display the London Transport roundel on the bus, to designate a London Transport tendered service. Ironically, several of the new private entrants were descendants of London Transport's former 'green' buses division, which operated outer London services that were passed to the National Bus Company's control as London Country Bus Services, in 1969.

The private competition was not without controversy, with objections to non-red buses leading to an edict in 1997 specifying 80% red liveries. The tendering also caused problems with several operators needing to hire buses due to late delivery of new buses for newly won routes.

One such controversial route was the arrangements for tendering route 60 which was initially awarded to Capital Logistics. Difficulties in setting up the route eventually saw operation by eight different operators and 10 different bus types in a short space of time, before the route finally gained a stable arrangement. [5]

The collapse of Harris Bus in December 1999, led to London Transport forming East Thames Buses as an arm's-length company to provide temporary operation of the routes. It was retained by the new Transport for London authority, to tender for routes itself until sold in October 2009 to the Go-Ahead Group.[6][7]

London Forest AEC Routemaster in 1991 London Northern Leyland Titan in 1992 CentreWest Challenger Alexander bodied Mercedes-Benz

On 1 April 1989 London Buses was divided into 12 business units, in preparation for sell-off. The companies were created along geographic lines, with all but Westlink having routes running into Central London. The division names and a small graphic device were added to the buses, in white. An exception to this was the Westlink unit, which received a new livery altogether. Some of the names chosen were drawn from the pre London Transport era, namely London General Omnibus Company and London United Tramways.

The separate business units created were:

Unlike the other units, Centrewest quickly branded its buses into separate groups, in the main removing the London Buses roundel in favour of various gold designs, with just the central services remaining in a slightly altered roundel based scheme. The group brands were: Challenger, Ealing Buses, Gold Arrow, Uxbridge Buses, Hillingdon local service and Orpington Buses.

Preserved Bexleybus Leyland Titan

During this time of separate business unit operation by London Buses, many new bus types were also being introduced, notably the Dennis Dart midibus as well as numerous minibuses. Several of these new vehicles received specialist branding from normal unit liveries, such as:

In the new era of private tendering, in an effort to compete with the new private operators entering the market, London Buses set up some low cost units to compete for tenders, painted in non-red liveries. The most notable were Harrow Buses[21] and Bexleybus, tendering for routes in the Harrow and Bexleyheath areas respectively.

These units were not overly successful, due to unreliable service, and industrial disputes due to lower pay rates than for the main London units. Their routes were quickly surrendered to other units or private operators.

Between September 1994 and January 1995, the separate London Buses business units were sold off. Competition rules restricted the number of units that could be bought by one group. All the units were sold either to their management or employees, or to one of the emerging national bus groups that had been growing through acquisition of deregulated companies in the rest of the UK. The exception was London Northern, which was bought by MTL, itself an expanding company formed from the privatisation of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive bus company.

Following sell-off, the new operators introduced new liveries, logos and trading names to many of the business units. Initially some buses appeared in liveries other than red, but an edict that all buses be 80% red saw this reversed from 1997. Some companies having been renamed, have since resumed their original identities.

The only unit not to be sold off was London Forest, which was wound up in the autumn of 1991 following poor financial performance and industrial action; its operating area was subsequently taken up by East London and Leaside Buses, although 11 of its routes in the Walthamstow area passed to private operators Capital Citybus, Thamesway Buses and County Bus.

The sell-off of the units proceeded as follows:

Capital Citybus Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian at Chingford station in June 1999 Centra Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian Kentish Bus AEC Routemaster in July 1993 London & Country Leyland Lynx in Purley in May 1993 London Traveller East Lancs Spryte bodied Volvo B6BLE in August 1999 Preserved Metrobus Leyland Olympian

In the period before the sell off of the main business units, London saw operation by several private companies who gained tenders for routes. Many of these either ceased trading, or were ultimately purchased by large groups, some of which also bought some of the ex-London Buses units. Below is a list of private operators, some of which still operate.

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Airport Taxi Number Hyde Park

For safety and for environmental considerations Airport Taxi Number in Hyde Park, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, Service Taxi after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

Airport Shuttle Service Price

These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

Affordable Private Transportation Services

The traveler no longer has to depend on rented cars and driving them through rush-hour traffic. After the long journey by flight, Transfer From The Airport he could take the luxurious, relaxing ride to his hotel, home or office.They have professional chauffeurs who have been trained to accommodate customer needs. They possess the required expertise and knowledge to conduct the traveler to and from the destination. They know the city roads like the back of their hands and can help the traveler reach his destination on time, even if the normal city roads are choked with traffic.

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For many people, employing an airport car service--be it a taxi, town car, or even shuttle--seems like a foreign concept. Many of us are used to either taking care of our own travel needs or calling on friends to drop us off or pick us up. While these two options are certainly wonderful, they don't work in every situation. They also may not be the best way to start or end your journey in terms of making the best use of your time, and keeping your stress level to a minimum. Even if you decide to stick with the DIY travel style, you should know that there are affordable and efficient airport travel alternatives available to you should you choose to employ them.As anyone who has ever been to an airport knows, taxis are a frequently used mode of transportation for either leaving or arriving at the airport. If you are traveling to the airport, making an appointment with a taxi service for pickup from your home can be a huge help. When you make a reservation for a taxi, they will be able to calculate how much time to allow for travel from your address, and may often even offer a flat fee rate for airport travel. If you (or someone you're making a reservation for, such as a boss or a client) prefer to travel in a bit more style, you can also look into a car service as a transportation option. This gives you the same benefits of a taxi, but with more class and individual attention.If you are able to coordinate your own airport travel without difficulty, or if you simply feel more comfortable handling it on your own, there's no reason not to. If, on the other hand, employing a taxi, town car, or shuttle to assist you in getting to or from the airport would simplify your travel and make it less stressful, you may want to consider employing such a service to help you with your travel needs.

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If you are looking to arrive or depart the airport in the ultimate style and comfort, there is no better way to travel than in a limousine. Whether you are traveling for business, pleasure, hosting a special guest, hosting a corporate event, or celebrating any event, renting a limousine can provide the best airport transportation experience.Many limousine services provide prompt, reliable, and courteous airport service, with a professional chauffeur. With a professional limousines service, your uniformed chauffeur will arrive on time and be well groomed and courteous. He or she will drive safely, know how to get to your destination, open doors, and assist with luggage, providing a great experience.Renting a limo for your airport transportation might cost less than you think. It is the best way to arrive or depart from the airport. There will be no need to worry about traffic, being late, getting gasoline, parking, parking fees, having to wait for transportation or loading and unloading your luggage. Renting a limousine can also greatly reduce your stress and allow you to feel relaxed and refreshed.

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For safety and for environmental considerations Airport Taxi Phone Number in Fourways, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, The Airport Transfer after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

Best Taxi Shuttle To Airport

These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

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The traveler no longer has to depend on rented cars and driving them through rush-hour traffic. After the long journey by flight, Airport Cab he could take the luxurious, relaxing ride to his hotel, home or office.They have professional chauffeurs who have been trained to accommodate customer needs. They possess the required expertise and knowledge to conduct the traveler to and from the destination. They know the city roads like the back of their hands and can help the traveler reach his destination on time, even if the normal city roads are choked with traffic.

Privatisation of London bus services

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Airport car service providers value the relationship with their customers and strive to maintain the required professionalism that is expected from such executive luxury service. These smart luxury car services are hard to forget once their utility has been realized.

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Giorgio Armani rightly said, "I believe that style is the only real luxury that is really desirable." If ultimate luxury and comfort is what you desire, while arriving at or departing from an airport, traveling in a limousine offers you value for money. Airport limousine services are widely available for business travel, corporate, sightseeing, hosting a special guest, going to hotel, or for celebrating an event.Benefits of Hiring an Airport Limousine Service You can enjoy several benefits by hiring a limousine for airport transportation:Professional Service: Limousine service is the best option if you prefer prompt and reliable airport service. A courteous chauffeur in a neat and clean uniform gives a perfectly professional feel and ensures that you reach your destination safely. The chauffer will open and close doors for you and also assist you with the luggage.When you are booking an airport limousine for yourself, it is important to choose a company that has experience in the field and has a variety of vehicles. The provider should understand your specific requirements when it comes to airport transportation. Don't forget to check their track record while booking. Booking online enables you to check the fleet of the provider and choose a limo of your choice.

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For safety and for environmental considerations Taxi Service Number in Rivonia, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, Taxi Service Company after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

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These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

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Airport car service providers value the relationship with their customers and strive to maintain the required professionalism that is expected from such executive luxury service. These smart luxury car services are hard to forget once their utility has been realized.

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Taxi Service To Airport Cost   (Redirected from Hillsbus)

ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC) is a major Australian operator of commuter buses. It is the second-largest commuter bus operator in New South Wales, and the third-largest commuter bus operator in Victoria. The company was founded in October 2005 as ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, a joint venture between Singapore-based ComfortDelGro (51%) and Australian-based Cabcharge (49%). In February 2017, Cabcharge sold its stake to ComfortDelGro.

CDC operates services as part of the New South Wales metropolitan bus system under the Hillsbus, Hunter Valley Buses and Blue Mountains Transit brands. In regional New South Wales (Queanbeyan and Yass), CDC operates under the Qcity Transit and Transborder Express brands. In Victoria, CDC operates CDC Ballarat, CDC Geelong and CDC Melbourne.

CDC also has operations outside Australia. In the United Kingdom, CDC owns and operates as CityFleet which operates coach services in London under the Westbus banner and taxi services in a number of cities.

Former ComfortDelGro Cabcharge logo

The joint venture was established in October 2005 to purchase loss-making Westbus (Australia & UK), Hillsbus and Hunter Valley Buses from National Express and the Bosnjak family.[1] The company traces its origins to 1955, when the Bosnjak family established a bus company in Edensor Park.

In 1986, Westbus commenced operating in England with the purchase of ADP Travel Services, Hounslow and Swinards Coaches, Ashford.[2][3] This was later acquired by Armchair Passenger Transport who were in turn purchased in 2004 by ComfortDelGro.[4]

In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus operations.[5][6]

Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased in August 2007 and absorbed into Hunter Valley Buses.[7] In June 2008 a bus charter division was established under the Charter Plus name.

Kefford Corporation in Victoria was purchased in November 2008.[8] The group was renamed CDC Victoria, but the names of the bus companies within the group were retained. The CDC brand was rolled out in 2014.

In September 2012 Deane's Transit Group comprising Deane's Buslines (renamed as Qcity Transit) and Transborder Express in southern New South Wales were purchased.[9][10] In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company, which was subsequently renamed Blue Mountains Transit in December 2014.[11]

In December 2016 ComfortDelgro announced it had agreed to purchase Cabcharge's 49% stake.[12][13] The sale was completed on 16 February 2017 after Foreign Investment Review Board approval was granted.[14]

Westbus was established in 1955 by the Bosnjak family. Trading as Bosnjak's Bus Service, it operated a fleet of five buses on a route connecting the Sydney suburbs of Canley Vale and Edensor Park.

Bosnjak's purchased a number of bus companies:[15]

All companies began to trade as Westbus in October 1984.[20]

In 1985 the coach business of Rowe's was purchased. A fleet of Volvo B10M coaches were purchased and based at Northmead. Following the purchase of Calabro's in June 1989 both fleets moved to Alexandria and later Arncliffe. The operation ceased in the early 2000s.

In May 1999, British coach operator National Express took a 57% shareholding in Westbus as part of its purchase of National Bus Company.[21] Members of the founding Bosnjak family continued to hold the remaining shares.

In December 2004, Westbus' Northmead and Seven Hills operations were merged with those of the newly acquired Glenorie Bus Company under the Hillsbus brand.

With debts of $90 million and National Express unwilling to provide further funding, in January 2005 the company was placed into voluntary administration. Westbus's problems threatened a major disruption to Sydney's transport network: the company ranked second only to government-owned Sydney Buses in the commuter bus industry. The company was acquired by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in October 2005. The new owners pledged to honour the company's contractual obligations to customers and staff.[22] The change of ownership saw the company exchange one politically well-connected shareholder, the Bosnjak family,[23] for another, Cabcharge's Reg Kermode.

In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus Region 3 operations.[5][6] Also included in the sale were Baxter's Girraween depot and some of its bus fleet.

From 2005 Westbus' services were part of Sydney Bus Regions 1 and 3.[24][25] In 2012, these regions were put out to tender by Transport for New South Wales. Westbus' bids to retain both regions were not successful, with the Region 1 services operating out of St Marys and Windsor passing to Busways, while the Region 3 services operated by Bonnyrigg and Girraween passing to Transit Systems Sydney, both in October 2013.[26][27][28]

Westbus operated services (as of 2013) in the following areas:

Westbus operated these services prior to their rebranding to Hillsbus in December 2004:

A long time Bedford and Leyland buyer, after briefly manufacturing its own Bosnjak JBJ chassis in the late 1970s, Westbus moved to the Volvo B10M purchasing over 160 as buses and 12 as coaches in the 1980s.[18] It later purchased Mercedes-Benz O405 and Scanias.

As at May 2013 Westbus operated 289 buses across four depots in Bonnyrigg and Girraween for Region 3 and St Marys and Windsor for Region 1.[5] Upon formation in 1983 Westbus adopted a cream and red livery, which was adopted by National Bus Company in 1993. This was simplified in the early 2000s to plain yellow. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied in line with contractual obligations.

Hillsbus Custom Coaches bodied Mercedes-Benz O405 Mk II on Clarence Street, Sydney CBD painted in Westbus cream & red in October 2007 Hillsbus Volgren bodied Scania K230UB at Castle Hill bus interchange in July 2013 Bustech CDI double-decker in Transport for New South Wales livery at Castle Hill interchange Metrobus liveried Hillsbus Volgren CR228L bodied Volvo B7RLE at Castle Hill bus interchange in July 2013

In 1996 Westbus established a separate Hillsbus brand to run express services from the Hills District to the Sydney CBD and North Sydney, initially via the Anzac Bridge and from 1997 via the M2 Hills Motorway.[29] However the Hillsbus brand seemed to have disappeared by the 2000s as these services were classified as Westbus rather than Hillsbus in early versions of the Westbus website.[30] These Westbus services, however, are still referred to by Westbus as "Hills City Express".[31]

On 11 February 2002, Hillsbus was recreated as a joint venture between Westbus and National Express' newly acquired Glenorie Bus Company, and introduced a new bus route 642 under the Hillsbus brand.[32] This service linked Dural and the City via the M2 and was therefore known as a "M2 City" express service. On 8 July the same year, Hillsbus introduced three more M2 City routes 650, 652 and 654.[33][34] According to the Hillsbus timetables, these Hillsbus services were operated by Glenorie,[35] even though neither Westbus nor Glenorie buses were used.[33][36]

In December 2004, all Westbus routes operating out of Northmead and Seven Hills depots, as well as the rest of Glenorie Bus Company, were rebranded Hillsbus.[37] At the same time, Hillsbus took over the operation of Harris Park Transport routes 620 - 630, following the latter ceasing operation. The services were transferred from Hillsbus to Sydney Buses on 28 January 2005.[38] On 25 September 2005, after the purchase of Hillsbus by ComfortDelgro Cabcharge, routes 620, 625, 626, 627 and 630 were transferred back to Hillsbus.[39]

Despite the rebranding to Hillsbus, the new Hillsbus website was only launched in January 2006, about a year after the rebranding.[40] The delay could be related to the debt of Westbus and was only resolved after the sale of Westbus and Hillsbus to CDC. After the launch of the new website, it still did not show any timetables of the former Glenorie-operated timetables until May/June 2006, and during this period, customers were asked to check the Glenorie website instead.[41]

When the Parramatta - Rouse Hill section of the North-West T-way opened on 10 March 2007, routes 730 (renumbered T63) and 735 (renumbered 616, now 616X) were transferred from Busways to Hillsbus with route 718 transferred from Hillsbus to Busways.[42]

Since 2005 Hillsbus' services have formed Sydney Bus Region 4.[43] In August 2013 Hillsbus successfully tendered to operate the Region 4 services for another five years from August 2014.[44][45]

On 30 June 2014, the Opal card was rolled out on all of Hillsbus' NightRide and Region 4 routes (including school services).[46][47]

Hillsbus operates the following services:

As at November 2014, Hillsbus operated 549 buses across four depots Seven Hills, Foundry Road (Seven Hills), Dural and Northmead.[5] Upon formation Hillsbus adopted Westbus' cream and red livery. This was simplified in the early 2000s to plain yellow. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied.

Hunter Valley Buses provides commuter bus, school bus, coach and charter services in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.

The group's origins can be traced back to 1926 when Amos Fogg founded the operation. Having taken control of Hunter Valley Coaches, Maitland and purchased Linsley Brothers, Wallsend along with their Raymond Terrace routes, all were rebranded as Blue Ribbon. In October 1989 Fellowes Bus Service, Swansea was purchased followed by Singleton Bus Service in March 1992.[18][48]

In December 1993, most of the coach operations were sold to Sid Fogg's in exchange for some route services.[49] In 1999 the Maitland, Wallsend and Raymond Terrace depots were consolidated at a new site in Thornton. In February 2000 Blue Ribbon was sold to National Bus Company with 162 buses and coaches.[50] In October 2005 Blue Ribbon was purchased by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge and rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses.

In August 2007, Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased from Robert Hertogs and consolidated into the Hunter Valley Buses operation.[7]

Since 2008, Hunter Valley Buses' services have formed Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Regions 2 and 4.[51]

As at November 2014, Hunter Valley Buses operated 297 buses and coaches across five depots.[5] Upon formation Blue Ribbon adopted a livery of two blues for its route service buses and coaches and white and blue for school buses. Upon being rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses the same allover yellow scheme as used by Hillsbus and Westbus was adopted. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied.

Charterplus is CDC's bus charter division for its Sydney operations. Initially established to centralise the charter operations between the Hillsbus depots, this was expanded to the Westbus depots in 2009. It organises charters for the CDC group, CDC rail bus workings, as well as CDC's special event commitments. Originally based at Bonnyrigg, all Charterplus vehicles are now based at the St Marys depot.

As at November 2014, Charterplus operated 37 buses transferred from both the New South Wales and Victorian operations.[5]

In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company with 101 buses.[11][52] It operates depots in Emu Plains, Leura and Valley Heights.[53] Founded in 1951 as Pearce Omnibus, it operated services in the lower Blue Mountains. In 1999, it expanded with the purchase of Katoomba-Leura Bus Service, followed in 2002 by Blue Mountains Bus Co. On 1 December 2014, CDC formally took over the operations of Blue Mountains Bus Company and rebranded it as Blue Mountains Transit.

Westrans Volgren bodied Volvo B7L at Sunshine station in December 2013

In November 2008, ComfortDelGro Cabcharge purchased Victorian bus operator Kefford Corporation[8] with its fleet of 328 buses and six depots. Kefford was the fourth largest bus operator in Victoria, with a market share of 16%. The fleets retain their individual identities and liveries with small CDC Victoria markings. In July 2013 the route operations of the Driver Group were purchased and integrated into the Eastrans brand.[54][55][56]

On 14 July 2014, CDC Victoria launched a new website for its four Victorian subsidiaries: Westrans, Eastrans, Benders Busways and Davis Bus Lines. Benders Busways was renamed as CDC Geelong and Davis Bus Lines to CDC Ballarat.[57] Soon after, Westrans and Eastrans were rebranded as CDC Melbourne.

CDC's Victorian subsidiaries are:

As at October 2014, CDC Victoria had six depots and operated 446 buses.[58]

Deane's Buslines P&D Coachworks bodied Volvo B7RLE in Canberra in November 2009

In September 2012, CDC purchased Deane's Transit Group which comprised Deane's Buslines which operates local services in Queanbeyan and into Canberra, and Transborder Express which runs services between Yass, Murrumbateman, Hall and Canberra. Both brands also operate school services within their service region. On 8 July 2013, Deane's Buslines was rebranded as Qcity Transit.

As at November 2014, the combined Qcity Transit and Transborder Express fleet consisted of 104 buses.[59]

In the United Kingdom, CityFleet is the umbrella company for CDC's operations in the United Kingdom.[60][61]

CityFleet operates:

In 1986, Westbus commenced operating in England with the purchase of ADP Travel Services, Hounslow and Swinards Coaches, Ashford by the Bosnjak family.[2][3] However, the Westbus UK company operates independently from the Westbus in Australia, despite bearing the latter's name, old logo and livery. It was sold to Armchair Passenger Transport, being reacquired when the latter was purchased by ComfortDelGro in November 2004 and absorbed into Westbus UK operations in November 2006.[3][62][63]

CityFleet operates taxi account, booking and dispatch services in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London, under the names of ComCab or Comfort Executive.[63][64]

Airport Travel: Self Transportation Versus Taxi, Car, or Airport Shuttle Services

Airport Shuttle Service Price A car rapide share taxi in Senegal

A share taxi (also called shared taxi) is a mode of transport which falls between a taxicab and a bus. These vehicles for hire are typically smaller than buses and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, but instead departing when all seats are filled. They may stop anywhere to pick up or drop off their passengers. Often found in developing countries,[1] the vehicles used as share taxis range from four-seat cars to minibuses.[2] They are often owner-operated.

The UITP term "informal transport" includes share taxis.

A given share taxi route may start and finish in fixed central locations, and landmarks may serve as route names or route termini. In some African cities routes are run between formal termini,[3] where the majority[4] of passengers board.[3] In these places the share taxis wait for a full load of passengers prior to departing, and off-peak wait times may be in excess of an hour.[3]

In other places there may be no formal termini, with taxis simply congregating at a central location,[5] instead.

Even more-formal terminals may be little more than parking lots.[6]

In South Africa, its also referred to as a rank, which denotes an area specifically built, by a municipality or city, for taxi operators, where commuters may start and end their journey.[7]

Where they exist, share taxis provide service on set routes within and sometimes between towns.

After a share taxi has picked up passengers at its terminus, it proceeds along a semi-fixed route where the driver may determine the actual route within an area according to traffic condition. Drivers will stop anywhere to allow riders to disembark, and may sometimes do the same when prospective passengers want to ride.

While all share taxis share certain characteristics—and many regional versions exhibit peculiarities—some basic operational distinctions can be delineated.

Most share taxis are operated under one of two regimes. Some share taxis are operated by a company. For example, in Dakar there are company-owned fleets of hundred of car rapides.[8] In Soviet Union, share taxis, known as marshrutka, were operated by state-owned taxi parks.[9] There are also individual operators in many countries. In Africa, while there are company share taxis, individual owners are more common. Rarely owning more than two vehicles at a time, they will rent out a minibus to operators, who pay fuel and other running costs, and keep revenue.[8]

In some places, like some African cities and also Hong Kong, share taxi minibuses are overseen by syndicates, unions, or route associations.[10] These groups often function in the absence of a regulatory environment[3] and may collect dues or fees from drivers[11] (such as per-use terminal payments,[12] sometimes illegally), set routes,[12] manage terminals, and fix fares.[3] Terminal management may include ensuring each vehicle leaves with a full load of passengers.[3][12]

Because the syndicates represent owners, their regulatory efforts tend to favor operators rather than passengers,[12] and the very termini syndicates upkeep can cost delays and money for passengers as well as forcing them to disembark at inconvenient locations, in a phenomenon called "terminal constraint".[13]

In Africa, regulation is mainly something that pertains to the vehicle itself[14] not its operator[14] or its mode of operation.[citation needed]

In Kenya, regulation does extend to operators[15][16] and mode of operation (such as routes used)[citation needed] as well as the vehicle[17]

As of 2008, African minibuses are difficult to tax,[11] and may operate in a "regulatory vacuum" perhaps because their existence is not part of a government scheme, but is simply a market response to a growing demand for such services.[8] Route syndicates[18] and operator's associations[13] often exercise unrestricted control, and existing rules may see little enforcement.[18]

Share taxi is a unique mode of transport independent of vehicle type. Minibuses,[11] midibuses, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, and lorries see use as share taxis.

Certain vehicle types may be better-suited to current condition than others. In many traffic-choked, sprawling, and low-density African cities minibuses profit.[11]

In Israel they were mostly the largest model of Mercedes, owned generally by Arabs, and very efficient, having space for 7-8 people, and having loosely fixed routes, dropping a passenger either at a specific terminus or going a little out of way to facilitate the passenger.

While carrying different names and distinguished by regional peculiarities, the share taxi is an everyday feature of life in many places throughout the world.

An Angkot in Bandung, West Java A three-wheeler Bemo in Jakarta. It also serves as a share taxi like Angkots

Angkutan Kota abbreviated Angkot or Mikrolet are share taxis in Indonesia widely operating throughout the country usually with Mini vans. In some places there are also three-wheelers which are called Bemo (such as autorickshaws based on the Daihatsu Midget). The older version of Angkot is called Oplet. The name of this transportation differs from each different province or area in the country. In Jakarta, it is called Angkot, in other parts such as in Sulawesi, the term Mikrolet shortened Mikro is more widely used especially in Manado. In Makassar it is called "Pete-Pete", in Malang it is called "Angkota", in Medan it is called "Sudako".

It runs accordingly with its exact routes and passengers can stop the van anywhere according to its destination, and is not required to stop at a bus stop or station.

In some towns in Northern Ireland, notably certain districts in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry and Newry, share taxi services operate using Hackney carriages and are called black taxis. These services developed during The Troubles as public bus services were often interrupted due to street rioting. Taxi collectives are closely linked with political groups – those operating in Catholic areas with Sinn Féin, those in Protestant areas with loyalist paramilitaries and their political wings.

Typically, fares approximate to those of Translink operated bus services on the same route. Service frequencies are typically higher than on bus services, especially at peak times, although limited capacities mean that passengers living close to the termini may find it difficult to find a black taxi with seats available in the rush hour.

A Toyota Corolla estate bush taxi

Three main vehicle types are used as bush taxis (French taxi brousse, Mandinka tanka tanka): the station wagon, the minibus, and the lorry. Many are previously owned vehicles imported from Europe or Japan; others are assembled from parts in regional centres such as Nigeria or Kenya. The original seating of the vehicles is usually stripped out in order to fit benches with more passenger space. In addition, more people generally sit on each bench than would be the case in more-developed countries. They are often in poor condition, though wealthier countries tend to have better-maintained vehicles.

In the past, most station-wagon bush taxis were modified 1980s-model Peugeot 504s. In some countries they are known as "five-seaters" or "seven-seaters" (French sept-place), but in fact, they may seat nine passengers or more in three rows of seats. Other models, such as the Peugeot 505 or the Toyota Corolla have since supplanted the 504 in some countries, and are gaining ground in others.

The bush taxi, a type of public light bus frequently used in West-Africa

Typically two passengers are seated on the front seat next to the driver, and four passengers in each of the two back rows. Sometimes, in particular on less-frequented routes, bush taxis are more crowded, and passengers might even sit on the roof or the boot. Bush taxis in wealthier countries tend to be less crowded. For example, in Nigeria bush taxis (of both the station wagon or minibus type) are called three-across or four-across according to the number of passengers seated in each row.

The minibus (a van-like vehicle seating 12 to 20 passengers; French minicar) is quickly becoming the most common type of bush taxi in West and Central Africa, especially for longer trips. Due to the vehicles' larger size, drivers often employ a helper who rides in the back of the vehicle and tells the driver when to stop to let people off, and helps load and unload baggage. Minibuses tend to travel slower than cars, and they take longer to fill up and to pass through police checkpoints. These vehicles generally charge more than standard buses but less than Peugeot-type bush taxis. Frequently used models in West-Africa are the Renault Super Goélette, the Saviem Super Goelette 2, and the Isuzu Kitamura minibus. The Goelette is also used frequently in Vietnam and Madagascar as a share taxi.[19]

Lorries are also used as bush taxis (French bâché): they are normal lorries (trucks) with benches along the sides of the bed for passengers. There is often a cover for the bed as well. Lorries are more robustly made (and give a rougher ride) than purpose-built passenger vehicles; routes over worse roads and to more remote areas are often serviced by lorries.

Carros Públicos (literally "Public Cars") are share taxis in the Dominican Republic[20] and Puerto Rico.[21]

In the Dominican Republic, these privately owned vehicles[22] run fixed routes[20][22] with no designated stops, and the ride is shared with other passengers.[20]

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against traveling in Dominican Republic carros públicos because doing so makes passengers targets for robbery, and because the taxis are known to, "disregard traffic laws, often resulting in serious accidents involving injuries and sometimes death."[23] The US Department of State also warns that using them is hazardous, as passengers often have their pockets picked, and are sometimes robbed by the drivers themselves.[22]

In Puerto Rico, carros públicos ply set routes with several passengers sharing the ride[24] and others picked up throughout the journey.[21]

The industry is regulated by the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission.[5]

While these cars do travel inter-city, they may not be available for longer, cross-island travel.[5] Stations may exist in cities, and Puerto Rican carros públicos may congregate in specific places around town.[5]

Minibus public transports in Rwanda may be called coaster buses,[25] share taxis, or twegerane.[10] The latter could easily be a word meaning "stuffed" or "full".[25]

As of 2011 in Kigali, Rwanda, syndicates include ATRACO and ONATRACOM,[10] but an independent transport authority is absent.[26]

Colectivos operated as share taxis from the late 1920s until the 1950s in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they were integrated into the public transportation system. Vehicles still known as colectivos operate throughout the country, but have long been indistinguishable from buses.[27]

Main article: Dala-dala A dala dala in the city of Dar es Salaam

Minivans (minibuses may be a more correct term here) are used as vehicles for hire and referred to as dala dala in Tanzania.[28] While dala dala may run fixed routes picking up passengers at central locations, they will also stop along the route to drop someone off or allow a prospective passenger to board.[28] Before minibuses became widely used, the typical dala dala was a pick-up truck with benches placed in the truck bed.[29]

In Dar es Salaam, publicly operated minibus service may also exist as of 2008.[10]

Usually run by both a driver and a conductor,[28] the latter is called a mpigadebe, literally meaning "a person who hits a debe" (a 4-gallon tin container used for transporting gasoline or water). The name is in reference to the fact that conductors are often hitting the roof and side of the van to attract customers and notify the driver when to leave the station.

These often-crowded[28] public transports have their routes allocated by a Tanzania transport regulator, Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA),[30] but syndicates also exist and include DARCOBOA.[10]

Play media Play media The danfo share taxi and molue minibuses are iconic of transport in Lagos, Nigeria.

In Nigeria, both minibuses (called danfo[31]) and midibuses (molue)[10] may be operated as share taxis. Such public transports may also be referred to as bolekaja, and many may bear slogans or sayings.[Thompson 1]

Lagos, Nigeria, has a transport-dedicated regulator, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Agency (LAMATA),[26] its remit most probably includes share taxi activity.[citation needed] Outside of Lagos, most major cities in Africa have similar systems of transport.[32]

Syndicates in Lagos may include National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW).[10]

Karsan-built Peugeot J9 Premier dolmuş in Bodrum, Turkey

In Turkey and Turkish controlled Northern Cyprus dolmuş (pronounced "dolmush") are share taxis that run on set routes within and between cities.[33] Each of these cars or minibuses displays their particular route on signboards behind the windscreen.[33]

Some cities may only allow dolmuş to pick up and disembark passengers at designated stops, and terminals also exist.[33] The word derives from Turkish for "full" or "stuffed", as these share taxis depart from the terminal only when a sufficient number of passengers have boarded.[34] Visitors to Turkey have been surprised by the speed of dolmuş travel.[35]

These share taxis are also found in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus under the same name.[34] Traveling intra and inter-city, the privately owned minibuses or aging Mercedes stretch limos are overseen by a governance institution; routes are leased and vehicles licensed.[34] Passengers board anywhere along the route (you may have to get the driver to stop if he doesn't honk at you) as well as at termini and official stations.[34] Dolmuş in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus display their routes but don't follow timetables. Instead, they simply appear frequently.[34]

Those in Kinshasa, DRC, (or perhaps just the Kongo people) may call share taxis fula fula meaning "quick quick".[Thompson 2]

There was no independent transport authority in the city of Kinshasa as of 2008.[26]

In Côte d'Ivoire, gbaka are a name for minibus public transports.[10]

The transport regulator in Abidjan, CI, is Agence de Gestion des Transports Urbains[26] or AGETU.[18]

As of 2008, Abidjan public transport was serviced by large buses as well as minibuses.[36]

Syndicates include UPETCA, SNTMVCI.[10]

In Morocco, grands taxis are the name for large, unmetered, shared taxicabs used for transportation between towns.[37] Grands taxis are generally old full-size Mercedes-Benz sedans, and seat six or more passengers.[37]

A typical jeepney Main article: Jeepney

The most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines as of 2007,[38] jeepneys were originally made out of US military jeeps left over from World War II[39] and are known for their color and flamboyant decoration.[38] Today the jeepneys are built by local body shops from a combination of prefabricated elements (from handful Filipino manufacturers) and improvisation and in most cases equipped with "surplus" or used Japanese SUV or light truck engines, drive train, suspension and steering components (from recycled vehicles in Japan).

They have not changed much since their post-war creation, even in the face of an increased access to pre-made vehicles, such as minibuses.[citation needed]

Jeepneys have the entrance on the back, and there is space for two people beside the driver (or more if they are small). The back of the Jeepney is equipped with two long bench seats along the sides and the people seated closest to the driver are responsible for passing the fare of new passengers forward to the driver and the change back to the passenger. The start and end point of the Jeepney route is often a Jeepney terminal, where there is a queue system so only one Jeepney plying a particular route is filled at a time, and where a person helps the driver to collect fares and fill the vehicles with people, usually to more than comfortable capacity.

Preferring to leave only when full and only stop for a crowd of potential passengers,[40] riders can nonetheless disembark at any time;[41] and while jeepneys ply fixed routes,[38] these may be subject to change over time.[42] New ones may need approval from a Philippine transport regulator.[43] Jeepney stations do exist.[44]

Main article: Dollar van

Jitney is an American English term that originally referred to a vehicle for hire intermediate between a taxi and a bus.[45] They are generally small-capacity vehicles that follow a rough service route, but can go slightly out of their way to pick up and drop off passengers. In many US cities (e.g. Pittsburgh and Detroit), the term jitney refers to an unlicensed taxi cab.

The name comes from an archaic, colloquial term for a five-cent piece in the US (the nickel). The common fare for the service when it first came into use was five cents, so the "five-cent cab" or "jitney cab" came to be known for the price charged.

In Rhode Island a jitney license plate is used for all public passenger buses, even for larger ones.

Jitney in Atlantic City, United States in 2008

While jitneys became fairly common in many other countries, such as the Philippines, they first appeared in the US and Canada. The first US jitneys ran in 1914 in Los Angeles, California. By 1915, there were 62,000 nationwide. Local regulations, demanded by streetcar companies, killed the jitney in most places. By the end of 1916, only 6,000 jitneys remained.[46] Similarly, in Vancouver, Canada, in the 1920s, jitneys competed directly with the streetcar monopoly operating along the same routes as the streetcars, but jitneys were charging lower fares.[47] Operators were referred to as "jitney men." They were so successful that the city government banned them at the request of the streetcar operators.

Since the 1973 oil crisis (as well as the mid-20th-century decline in transit service), jitneys have reappeared in some areas of the US, particularly in inner city areas once served by streetcars and private buses. An increase in bus fares usually leads to a significant rise in jitney usage. Liberalization of jitneys is often encouraged by libertarian urban economists, such as University of Chicago's Richard Epstein, Rutgers' James Dunn, and USC's Peter Gordon, as a more "market-friendly" alternative to public transportation. Concerns over fares, insurance liabilities, and passenger safety have kept legislative support for jitneys decidedly tepid. Nevertheless, in New York City and northern New Jersey, jitneys (known as "dollar vans" because of their original price) are regulated.

Miami has the country's most comprehensive jitney network, due to Caribbean influence. In Atlanta jitneys run along Buford Highway.

In Atlantic City the ACJA operates a jitney service that travels the main strip of casinos. One of the routes also services the new cluster of casinos west of Atlantic City proper.

In 2009, the Houston Waves, Houston's first jitney service in 17 years, started running. It has expanded into a network of buses operating within Loop 610 and to all special event venues in Houston.

The term kia kia may be used in Yorùbáland to refer to minibus public transports, and means "quick quick".[Thompson 1]

Share taxis in Estonia are mostly found in Tallinn, the capital.[citation needed] Called liinitakso, marsruuttakso, taksobuss or mikroautobuss depending on the language spoken, these minibuses run fixed routes and allow passengers to disembark at any time.[48]

Share taxis in Tunisia are called louage and follow fixed or semi-fixed routes, departing from stations when full.[49] Usually minibuses or compact cars,[49] although some louage are station wagons,[50] passengers may board and disembark at any point during travel.[49]

They run between towns and within cities.[49]

Four marshrutkas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Main article: Marshrutka

Marshrutka[1][51] or marshrutnoe taksi[52] are share taxis found in Eastern Europe[1][51] and the republics of the former Soviet Union.[53] Usually vans,[1] they drive along set routes, usually depart only when all seats are filled,[51][53] and may have higher fares than buses.[1][53] Passengers can board a marshrutka anywhere along its route if there are seats available.[51][53]

As fares are usually paid before the marshrutka leaves,[53][54] which seat you choose can have consequences. Riders nearer the driver are responsible for handing up the other passengers' fares and passing back change.[53][54]

In Lithuania, share taxis are called maršrutinis taksi.

Main article: Matatu

In Kenya, Uganda, and neighboring nations[55][56][57] matatu are privately owned[58] minibuses,[17] although pick-up trucks were in the past pressed into service[55] as these East African public transports whose decoration often features portraits of the famous.[16][59] Slogans and sayings also appear,[60] some religious.[59][60] In addition to a driver, matatu may be staffed by a tout,[58] conductor,[15][61][62] or porter.[63]

They may ply set routes,[64] display this route,[61] run from termini,[17][65] run both inter and intra-city,[64][66] and may stop along said route to purchase or collect money from passengers.

As of 1999, matatu could have been the only form of public transport in Nairobi, Kenya,[58] but this may not have been the case in 2006[64] and 2008.[67] As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, may only be serviced by minibuses.[67]

The name is a Swahili colloquialism,[56] and were it convenient,[citation needed] passengers could even pay for their journeys via cell phone.[68] The name is literally a conjugation of the word "three", and derives from their original price, three shillings "mashilingi matatu".

In Kenya, this industry is regulated,[58] and such minibuses must, by law, be fitted with seatbelts[17] and speed governors.[15][17] Present regulation may not be sufficient deterrent to prevent small infractions[61] as even decoration may be prohibited.[15] Kenya has one of the "most extensive regulatory controls to market entry",[13] and a matatu worker can be pulled from the streets simply for sporting too loud a shirt.[16]

As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, has no independent transport authority,[26] but transport is authorised by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA).[3] In Kampala the informal vehicles are called taxis. [4]

Egyptian share cabs are generally known as micro-bus (mekrobass ميكروباص or mašrūʿ مشروع, "project"; plural mekrobassāt ميكروباصات or mašarīʿ مشاريع). The second name is used by Alexandrians.

Micro-buses are licensed by each governorate as taxicabs, and are generally operated privately by their drivers. Although each governorate attempts to maintain a consistent paint scheme for them, in practice the color of them varies wildly, as the "consistent" schemes have changed from time to time and many drivers have not bothered to repaint their cars.

Rates vary depending on distance traveled, although these rates are generally well known to those riding the micro-bus. The fares also depend on the city. Riders can typically hail micro-buses from any point along the route, often with well-established hand signals indicating the prospective rider's destination, although certain areas tend to be well-known micro-bus stops.

Like the Eastern European marshrutka, a typical micro-bus is a large van, most often a Toyota HiAce or its Jinbei equivalent, the Haise, and the latter is produced by the Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Group in 6th of October City in Egypt. Smaller vans and larger small buses are also used.

Sharing ajans in Tehran

In Iran a share taxi is usually called "taxi", while a non-share is called "ajans"/اژانس, pronounced [aʒans]. Four passengers share a taxi and sometimes there is no terminus and they wait in the street side and blare their destination to all taxies until one of them stops. These are regular taxies but if somebody wants to get a non-share taxi he can call for an ajans (taxi service) for himself or wait in the street side and say 'DARBAST' (which means non-share). It means he is not interested in sharing the taxi and is consequently willing to pay more for the privilege.

Minibuses, in the past years, with a capacity of 18 passengers, and nowadays van taxies, with a capacity of 10 passengers are other kinds of share transport in Iran.[69]

Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa. They are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more-traditional taxicabs because they are generally cheap, operate on diverse routes, and are available in abundance. All minibus taxis in Ethiopia have a standard blue-and-white coloring scheme, much like the yellow color of New York taxis except it isn't yellow. Minibus taxis are usually Toyota Hiaces, frequent the streets. They typically can carry 11 passengers, but will always have room for another until that is no longer the case. The minibus driver has a crew member called a weyala, and his job is to collect the fare from passengers.

In 2008, publicly operated public transport was available in Addis Ababa in addition to that provided by the minibuses.[67] A fleet of 350 large buses may operate for this purpose,[citation needed] as such a number does exist.[36] Also as of 2008, the city lacks an independent transport authority,[26] but some regulation, such as that controlling market entry, does exist.[13]

Route syndicates may be a presence but are described as "various".[10]

Cape Town minibus taxi rank See also: Taxi wars in South Africa

Over 60% of South African commuters use shared minibus taxis (16 seater commuter buses).

Many of these vehicles are unsafe and not roadworthy, and often dangerously overloaded.[citation needed]

Prior to 1987, the taxi industry in South Africa was highly regulated and controlled.[citation needed] Black taxi operators were declined permits in the Apartheid era and all minibus taxi operations were, by their very nature, illegal.

Post 1987, the industry was rapidly deregulated, leading to an influx of new minibus taxi operators, keen to make money off the high demand for this service. Taxi operators banded together to form local and national associations. Because the industry was largely unregulated and the official regulating bodies corrupt,[citation needed] these associations soon engaged in anti-competitive price fixing and exhibited gangster tactics – including the hiring of hit-men and all-out gang warfare.[70] During the height of the conflict, it was not uncommon for taxi drivers to carry shotguns and AK-47s to simply shoot rival taxi drivers and their passengers on sight.[citation needed]

Currently the South African Government is attempting to formalize and re-regulate the out-of-control minibus taxi industry. Along with new legislation, the government has instituted a 7-year recapitalization scheme to replace the old and unroadworthy vehicles with new 18- and 35-seater minibuses. These new minibus taxis carry the South African flag on the side and are notably more spacious and safe.

A public light bus (left) and a double-decker bus (right) in Hong Kong. Main article: Public light bus

Public light buses (Chinese: 公共小型巴士), also known as minibus or maxicab (Chinese: 小巴), run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas which the standard bus lines cannot or do not reach as frequently, quickly or directly.

Typically offering a faster and more efficient transportation solution due to their small size, limited carrying capacity, frequency and diverse range of routes, although they are generally slightly more expensive than standard buses, minibuses carry a maximum of 16 seated passengers. Standing passengers are not allowed.

There are two types of public light minibus, green and red. Both types have a cream-coloured body, the distinguishing feature being the colour of the external roof, and the type of service that the colour denotes: green is like regular transit bus with fixed number, route, schedule and fare (but generally not fixed stops); red is a shared taxi, operating on semi-fixed route unregulated, with the driver waiting for enough passengers to justify leaving, as his income depends on the revenue.

In Guatemala, ruleteros, minibus share taxis, pick up and discharge passengers along major streets.[71][72]

In New Zealand the first widespread motor vehicle services were shared taxi services termed service cars; a significant early provider was Aard, operating elongated Hudson Super-Six Coaches.[73] By 1930 there were 597 service cars.[74] Aard was taken over by New Zealand Railways Road Services in 1928.[73] Shared taxis in New Zealand nowadays are referred to as Shuttles or Shuttle vans (see below).

In Cyprus, there are privately owned share taxis that travel to set destinations and board additional passengers en route called service taxis.[75]

Shared taxis–and they are known by that exact name–have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970s. These are more like a point-to-point service that operates only during the peak hours than other share taxis. During off-peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis; they can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter.

But during peak hours several of them will operate as shared taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a sign saying "shared taxis" and the cabs will line up at this point during peak hours.

They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens–which takes less than a few minutes–the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination but higher than a bus or train fare.

Share jeeps are a common form of transportation in the Himalayas, the North Eastern States and elsewhere.[76]

Sherut taxis

Sherut (pl. moniot sherut) is a Hebrew word meaning "service". Also referring to vans[77][78][79] that serve as share taxis in Israel, these can be picked up from sherut stations.[77] They follow fixed routes[77][78] (sometimes the same routes as public transport buses[77]), leave when full,[77][80] and will only disembark passengers along the route.[77] Moniyot sherut operate both inter[78][81] and intra-city.[78] Payment is often done by passing money to the driver in a "human chain" formed by the passengers seated before. The change (and the receipt, when requested) are returned to the person who paid by the same means. In intra-city routes, where they compete with official buses, the drivers usually coordinate their travel by radio so that they can arrive at the bus station just before public transport buses and take the most passengers.

Called "ser-vees" (service taxi) by Palestinians, in the West Bank vans are replaced by minibuses, for a while "Ford Transit" model was predominant in the Palestinian occupied territories,[82] hence the names "Ford" and "Fordat"(pl) are used to describe minibuses of various makes, which replaced aging Mercedes sedans previously used widely,[78] etc.

A shuttle van service to Dunedin International Airport picks up a passenger at Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand

Shared buses or vans are available in many more developed countries connecting frequent destinations, charging a fixed fee per passenger. The most common case is a connection between an airport and central city locations. These services are often known as shuttles. Such services usually use smaller vehicles than normal buses, and often operate on demand. An air traveller can contact the shuttle company by telephone or Internet, not necessarily in advance; the company will ensure that a shuttle is provided without unreasonable delay. The shuttle will typically connect one airport with several large hotels, or addresses in a specified area of the city. The shuttle offers much of the convenience of a taxi, although taking longer, at a price which is significantly lower for one or two passengers. Scheduled services between an airport and a hotel, usually operated by the hotel, are also called shuttles.

In many cases the shuttle operator takes the risk of there not being enough passengers to make the trip profitable; in others there is a minimum charge when there are not enough passengers.[83]

Usually there are regulations covering vehicles and drivers; for example in New Zealand under NZTA regulations, shuttles are only allowed to have up to eleven passenger seats, and the driver must have a passenger endorsement (P) on their drivers' licence.

Main article: Songthaew

Literally "two rows"[citation needed] a songthaew or song thaew[84] (Thai สองแถว, Lao: ສອງແຖວ [sɔ̌ːŋtʰíw]) is a passenger vehicle in Thailand[84] and Laos[85] adapted from a pick-up[85] or a larger truck and used as a share taxi. They are also known as baht buses.

In Mali, at least two words for share taxi may have common currency sotrama and dourouni.[10]

As of 2008, Bamako, Mali, has no independent transport authority,[26] but share taxi activity could fall under regulator Direction de la régulation et du contrôle du transport urbain (municipal) or DRCTU control.[18]

a Haitian tap tap Main article: Tap tap

Tap taps, gaily painted buses[86][87] or pick-up trucks,[87] and publiques, usually older saloon cars,[88] serve as share taxis in Haiti.

Tap taps are privately owned and beautifully decorated.[86] They follow fixed routes;[89] won't leave until filled with passengers;[87][89] and many feature wild colors, portraits of famous people, and intricate, hand-cut wooden window covers.[86] Often they are painted with religious names or slogans.[Thompson 3] Riders can disembark at any point in the journey.[87][89] Their name refers to "fast motion".[Thompson 4]

The publiques operate on fixed routes and pick up additional passengers all along the way.[88]

While saying not to use any form of public transport in Haiti, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against tap tap travel especially.[90] The US State Department also warns travelers not to use tap taps, "because they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely."[91]

In Algeria, taxis collectifs ply fixed routes with their destination displayed.[92] Rides are shared with others who are picked up along the way,[93] and the taxi will leave only when it seats all the passengers it can.[94] While stations, set locations to board and disembark,[citation needed] exist,[95][96] prospective passengers flag down a taxis collectifs when they want a ride.[92]

Operating inter[97][98] and intra-city,[citation needed] taxis collectifs that travel between towns may be called interwilaya taxis.[99]

Along with all forms of public transport in Algeria, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recommend against using these share taxis.[93] The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs asks that you use taxis recommended by a hotel.[100]

See also: Société de transport de Montréal and Réseau de transport de Longueuil § Shared taxi

In Quebec, share taxis or jitneys are called taxis collectifs[101] (in English "collective taxis"[102]) or transport collectif par taxi[103] (which may be translated in English as "taxibus"[104]) and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities[104][105][106][107] on fixed routes.[citation needed]

In the case of the Montréal the fare is the same as local bus fare, but no cash and transfers are issued or accepted;[108] in case of the STL only bus passes.[105][109] The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and some Réseau de transport métropolitain TRAM passes.[110]

See also: Pesero and Combi Yellow Taxi Colectivo in Chile

Often share taxi routes in Mexico are ad hoc arrangements to fill in gaps in regular public transportation, and many operate inter-city as well as local routes. In many rural areas, they are the only public transportation.

In some cases truck/taxi combination vehicles have evolved to transport light goods as well as passengers. Heavily used share taxi routes often evolve into regulated microbus public transit routes, as has occurred in Mexico City and in Lima.

Taxis colectivos are also found in Perú, Chile, Guatemala, and Argentina, where they are most commonly referred to simply as colectivos, although in some places they have become essentially standard buses.[27]

Besides the conventional deeltaxi, there are treintaxis in some Dutch towns. Operated on behalf of the Netherlands Railways,[citation needed] they run to and from railway stations and the ride is shared with additional passengers picked up along the way.[111] Tickets can be purchased at railway ticket offices or from the cabdriver,[111] but treintaxis must be ordered by phone unless boarding at a railway station.[111]

In Ghana and neighboring countries, tro tro are privately owned[112][113][114] minibus vehicles for hire that travel fixed routes[114] leaving when filled to capacity.[112][113] While there are tro tro stations,[114][115][116] these share taxis can also be boarded anywhere along the route.[112][113][114]

Operated by a driver and a conductor, who collects money, shouts out the destination, and is called a "mate",[114][117] many are decorated with slogans and sayings,[117] often religious,[112] and few operate on Sundays.[113]

As of 2008, there is no independent transport authority in Accra, Ghana,[26] and the share taxi industry may be wholly unregulated.

Tro tro are used by 70% of Ghanaian commuters.[118] This popularity may be because in cities such as Accra have no public transportation system save for these small minibuses.[67]

Large buses also provide public transport in Accra, as of 2008.[36]

An informal means of transportation, in Ghana they are licensed by the government, but the industry is self-regulated.[114] In Accra, syndicates include GPRTU and PROTOA.[10]

Share taxis do exist in Cameroon, but as of 2008 minibuses cannot be used for this purpose, by law.[8] That same year, Douala, Cameroon, also was without an independent transport authority.[26]

In Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, the share taxi role is not filled by the traditional African minibus.[8]

In Athens, Greece most taxis were share taxis,[119] but since the country joined the EU this tradition started to dissappear.

In Saint Lucia, waychehs are a name for minibus public transports using Toyota HiAce.

Modern Paratransit services, also known as demand responsive transport systems in the UK, can provide shared transport services in situations where scheduled services are not viable. Traditionally these services had to be booked a day in advance, but are becoming increasingly responsive using modern communications systems with a central booking system accessed by phone or internet and instant communications with GPS tracked vehicles. Unlike scheduled services the vehicles need not operate on fixed routes of timetables, although they do often have constrained routes.

Some newer taxi share systems now use internet and mobile phone communications for booking and scheduling purposes, with the actual service provided by normal hackney carriage or Private Hire vehicles. Prospective passengers make bookings and supply destination details using SMS to a central server which aggregates these travel requests and creates packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers.

There are many operators of airport shuttle services between Airports and Hotels around the world that operate on flexible routing and timing to offer a service that is both cheaper than a sole-occupancy taxi and also often more convenient that other forms of public transport. The requirement to carry luggage offers an added incentive to use such services over scheduled transport which will normally require a walk from the drop-off location to the final destination. Services from these operators are starting to spread from airports to railway stations and to other locations.

Main article: Demand responsive transport

Some operators and/or governments around the world are now offering demand-based shared transport to residents in community with low ridership numbers, which could help maintain the existence of public transport. Operations are predefined according to bookings.

  1. ^ a b Tap-tap, fula-fula, kia-kia: The Haitian bus in Atlantic perspective. Thompson, Robert Farris. African Arts. Los Angeles: Spring 1996. Vol. 29, Iss. 2; p. 41.
  2. ^ Thompson, p. 39.
  3. ^ Thompson, pp. 37, 38, 44, 45.
  4. ^ Thompson, p. 36.
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The privatisation of London bus services was the process of the transfer of operation of London Buses from public bodies to private companies.

For half a century, operation of London bus services for public transport was under the direct control of a number of entities known as London Transport. The London Regional Transport Act 1984 resulted in London Regional Transport taking control of London's bus routes, with the operation divested in stand alone companies that were privatised in 1994/95.

Since then, direct provision of bus services in London has been run by private companies, although Transport for London did operate its own company, East Thames Buses between 1999 and 2009.

Unlike those in the rest of the United Kingdom, the bus services in London, although still ultimately privatised, were not deregulated to the same extent. In London, details of routes, fares and services levels were still specified by public bodies, with the right to run the services contracted to private companies on a tendered basis.

The privatised period produced for the first time buses in London painted in different schemes from the traditional red. This ceased following a 1997 edict that London buses be 80% red.

London Buses MCW Metrobus at Piccadilly Circus in October 1987

On 29 June 1984, in the general move towards deregulation, responsibility for running London bus services transferred from the last public body running London's buses, the Greater London Council to London Regional Transport under the London Regional Transport Act 1984. This Act required arm's-length subsidiaries to be established to oversee operation of bus services, and on 29 March 1985 London Buses Limited[1] was incorporated.[2]

Initially, bus livery continued to be all-over red with a simple solid white roundel, but in 1987 this livery was revised with the addition of a grey skirt and a white mid-level relief line; in the same year a modified red and yellow roundel, with the name 'London Buses' in capitals, was introduced.[3]

Grey-Green Alexander bodied Volvo Citybus as used on route 24

Under the 1984 Act, London bus services were to be tendered. The first round of tendering took place in the summer of 1985, bringing the first private operator into the market, in the form of London Buslines on route 81. By 1988 Boro'line Maidstone, Grey-Green and Metrobus were also operating numerous London routes.[4]

Controversially, these operators were allowed to operate buses in liveries other than standard red, meaning that for the first time it was possible for non-red buses to run into the centre of London, such as those on high-profile route 24 operated by Grey-Green. The only requirement was to display the London Transport roundel on the bus, to designate a London Transport tendered service. Ironically, several of the new private entrants were descendants of London Transport's former 'green' buses division, which operated outer London services that were passed to the National Bus Company's control as London Country Bus Services, in 1969.

The private competition was not without controversy, with objections to non-red buses leading to an edict in 1997 specifying 80% red liveries. The tendering also caused problems with several operators needing to hire buses due to late delivery of new buses for newly won routes.

One such controversial route was the arrangements for tendering route 60 which was initially awarded to Capital Logistics. Difficulties in setting up the route eventually saw operation by eight different operators and 10 different bus types in a short space of time, before the route finally gained a stable arrangement. [5]

The collapse of Harris Bus in December 1999, led to London Transport forming East Thames Buses as an arm's-length company to provide temporary operation of the routes. It was retained by the new Transport for London authority, to tender for routes itself until sold in October 2009 to the Go-Ahead Group.[6][7]

London Forest AEC Routemaster in 1991 London Northern Leyland Titan in 1992 CentreWest Challenger Alexander bodied Mercedes-Benz

On 1 April 1989 London Buses was divided into 12 business units, in preparation for sell-off. The companies were created along geographic lines, with all but Westlink having routes running into Central London. The division names and a small graphic device were added to the buses, in white. An exception to this was the Westlink unit, which received a new livery altogether. Some of the names chosen were drawn from the pre London Transport era, namely London General Omnibus Company and London United Tramways.

The separate business units created were:

Unlike the other units, Centrewest quickly branded its buses into separate groups, in the main removing the London Buses roundel in favour of various gold designs, with just the central services remaining in a slightly altered roundel based scheme. The group brands were: Challenger, Ealing Buses, Gold Arrow, Uxbridge Buses, Hillingdon local service and Orpington Buses.

Preserved Bexleybus Leyland Titan

During this time of separate business unit operation by London Buses, many new bus types were also being introduced, notably the Dennis Dart midibus as well as numerous minibuses. Several of these new vehicles received specialist branding from normal unit liveries, such as:

In the new era of private tendering, in an effort to compete with the new private operators entering the market, London Buses set up some low cost units to compete for tenders, painted in non-red liveries. The most notable were Harrow Buses[21] and Bexleybus, tendering for routes in the Harrow and Bexleyheath areas respectively.

These units were not overly successful, due to unreliable service, and industrial disputes due to lower pay rates than for the main London units. Their routes were quickly surrendered to other units or private operators.

Between September 1994 and January 1995, the separate London Buses business units were sold off. Competition rules restricted the number of units that could be bought by one group. All the units were sold either to their management or employees, or to one of the emerging national bus groups that had been growing through acquisition of deregulated companies in the rest of the UK. The exception was London Northern, which was bought by MTL, itself an expanding company formed from the privatisation of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive bus company.

Following sell-off, the new operators introduced new liveries, logos and trading names to many of the business units. Initially some buses appeared in liveries other than red, but an edict that all buses be 80% red saw this reversed from 1997. Some companies having been renamed, have since resumed their original identities.

The only unit not to be sold off was London Forest, which was wound up in the autumn of 1991 following poor financial performance and industrial action; its operating area was subsequently taken up by East London and Leaside Buses, although 11 of its routes in the Walthamstow area passed to private operators Capital Citybus, Thamesway Buses and County Bus.

The sell-off of the units proceeded as follows:

Capital Citybus Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian at Chingford station in June 1999 Centra Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympian Kentish Bus AEC Routemaster in July 1993 London & Country Leyland Lynx in Purley in May 1993 London Traveller East Lancs Spryte bodied Volvo B6BLE in August 1999 Preserved Metrobus Leyland Olympian

In the period before the sell off of the main business units, London saw operation by several private companies who gained tenders for routes. Many of these either ceased trading, or were ultimately purchased by large groups, some of which also bought some of the ex-London Buses units. Below is a list of private operators, some of which still operate.

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Hong Kong is always bustling with life and it is one of the most happening tourist spots all year round. The city's wonderful culture and traditions with its festivals and events attract tourists from all over the world. So, to support this thriving and ever growing tourism industry, one of the most important aspects that have to be dealt with is transport services. Tourists should be able to travel from one place to another with ease and for this Hong Kong Airport has introduced Airport Transfer and Vehicles Service. This helps tourists reach their hotels easily, without having to worry about directions or also helps them reach their travel destinations.Hong Kong Airport Shuttle ServiceFor the first time visitors, it is often a difficult task to find their way through the busy, lively streets of Hong Kong. Though they are aware of their destinations, which streets to take or how to get there can be confusing. This is where the Airport Shuttle Service comes to make things easier. The tourists are able to avoid the hassle of standing in a queue to book a ride or trying to find a cab, as they are able to pre book their ride on the shuttle. The shuttle service has two parts to it; one, it picks up the tourists from the airport and drops them at their hotel, and two, it also picks up tourists from their hotels and drops them at the airport, ensuring a smooth ride without any problems.• Hong Kong Private Arrival Transfer: This service takes the clients from the airport to their hotel. The service costs $79.• Hong Kong Private Departure Transfer: For those who want to be picked up from the hotel and dropped at the airport, this service is ideal and reasonably priced at $79. Another version of the Hong Kong Private Departure Service helps clients travel from the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to the Airport. This service too costs $79.Other transfer services to or from the Hong Kong Airport include limousine service, private car service and also van services and rentals. All these transfer and vehicles services aim to provide utmost comfort to their passengers and all travelers have found these services to be extremely convenient and time saving. The staff of all these services is dedicated and also often English speaking which helps the passengers communicate better.Hong Kong being an important hub for businesses, industries and trading centers, is bustling with traffic and its airport is one of the places which has to have good transfer and vehicles services. This is exactly what is provided to make all journeys the best and the most reliable.

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For safety and for environmental considerations Number For Taxi Service in South Africa, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, Airport Taxi Stand after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

Taxi Service To Airport Price

These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

Cheap Private Transportation Services

The traveler no longer has to depend on rented cars and driving them through rush-hour traffic. After the long journey by flight, Shuttle Bus Service he could take the luxurious, relaxing ride to his hotel, home or office.They have professional chauffeurs who have been trained to accommodate customer needs. They possess the required expertise and knowledge to conduct the traveler to and from the destination. They know the city roads like the back of their hands and can help the traveler reach his destination on time, even if the normal city roads are choked with traffic.

ComfortDelGro Australia

Taxi Service To Airport Price

Airport car service providers value the relationship with their customers and strive to maintain the required professionalism that is expected from such executive luxury service. These smart luxury car services are hard to forget once their utility has been realized.

Number For Taxi Service in South Africa ?

Airport Transfer Service Cost   (Redirected from Hillsbus)

ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC) is a major Australian operator of commuter buses. It is the second-largest commuter bus operator in New South Wales, and the third-largest commuter bus operator in Victoria. The company was founded in October 2005 as ComfortDelGro Cabcharge, a joint venture between Singapore-based ComfortDelGro (51%) and Australian-based Cabcharge (49%). In February 2017, Cabcharge sold its stake to ComfortDelGro.

CDC operates services as part of the New South Wales metropolitan bus system under the Hillsbus, Hunter Valley Buses and Blue Mountains Transit brands. In regional New South Wales (Queanbeyan and Yass), CDC operates under the Qcity Transit and Transborder Express brands. In Victoria, CDC operates CDC Ballarat, CDC Geelong and CDC Melbourne.

CDC also has operations outside Australia. In the United Kingdom, CDC owns and operates as CityFleet which operates coach services in London under the Westbus banner and taxi services in a number of cities.

Former ComfortDelGro Cabcharge logo

The joint venture was established in October 2005 to purchase loss-making Westbus (Australia & UK), Hillsbus and Hunter Valley Buses from National Express and the Bosnjak family.[1] The company traces its origins to 1955, when the Bosnjak family established a bus company in Edensor Park.

In 1986, Westbus commenced operating in England with the purchase of ADP Travel Services, Hounslow and Swinards Coaches, Ashford.[2][3] This was later acquired by Armchair Passenger Transport who were in turn purchased in 2004 by ComfortDelGro.[4]

In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus operations.[5][6]

Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased in August 2007 and absorbed into Hunter Valley Buses.[7] In June 2008 a bus charter division was established under the Charter Plus name.

Kefford Corporation in Victoria was purchased in November 2008.[8] The group was renamed CDC Victoria, but the names of the bus companies within the group were retained. The CDC brand was rolled out in 2014.

In September 2012 Deane's Transit Group comprising Deane's Buslines (renamed as Qcity Transit) and Transborder Express in southern New South Wales were purchased.[9][10] In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company, which was subsequently renamed Blue Mountains Transit in December 2014.[11]

In December 2016 ComfortDelgro announced it had agreed to purchase Cabcharge's 49% stake.[12][13] The sale was completed on 16 February 2017 after Foreign Investment Review Board approval was granted.[14]

Westbus was established in 1955 by the Bosnjak family. Trading as Bosnjak's Bus Service, it operated a fleet of five buses on a route connecting the Sydney suburbs of Canley Vale and Edensor Park.

Bosnjak's purchased a number of bus companies:[15]

All companies began to trade as Westbus in October 1984.[20]

In 1985 the coach business of Rowe's was purchased. A fleet of Volvo B10M coaches were purchased and based at Northmead. Following the purchase of Calabro's in June 1989 both fleets moved to Alexandria and later Arncliffe. The operation ceased in the early 2000s.

In May 1999, British coach operator National Express took a 57% shareholding in Westbus as part of its purchase of National Bus Company.[21] Members of the founding Bosnjak family continued to hold the remaining shares.

In December 2004, Westbus' Northmead and Seven Hills operations were merged with those of the newly acquired Glenorie Bus Company under the Hillsbus brand.

With debts of $90 million and National Express unwilling to provide further funding, in January 2005 the company was placed into voluntary administration. Westbus's problems threatened a major disruption to Sydney's transport network: the company ranked second only to government-owned Sydney Buses in the commuter bus industry. The company was acquired by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge in October 2005. The new owners pledged to honour the company's contractual obligations to customers and staff.[22] The change of ownership saw the company exchange one politically well-connected shareholder, the Bosnjak family,[23] for another, Cabcharge's Reg Kermode.

In August 2006 the routes of Baxter's Bus Lines were purchased by and absorbed into Westbus Region 3 operations.[5][6] Also included in the sale were Baxter's Girraween depot and some of its bus fleet.

From 2005 Westbus' services were part of Sydney Bus Regions 1 and 3.[24][25] In 2012, these regions were put out to tender by Transport for New South Wales. Westbus' bids to retain both regions were not successful, with the Region 1 services operating out of St Marys and Windsor passing to Busways, while the Region 3 services operated by Bonnyrigg and Girraween passing to Transit Systems Sydney, both in October 2013.[26][27][28]

Westbus operated services (as of 2013) in the following areas:

Westbus operated these services prior to their rebranding to Hillsbus in December 2004:

A long time Bedford and Leyland buyer, after briefly manufacturing its own Bosnjak JBJ chassis in the late 1970s, Westbus moved to the Volvo B10M purchasing over 160 as buses and 12 as coaches in the 1980s.[18] It later purchased Mercedes-Benz O405 and Scanias.

As at May 2013 Westbus operated 289 buses across four depots in Bonnyrigg and Girraween for Region 3 and St Marys and Windsor for Region 1.[5] Upon formation in 1983 Westbus adopted a cream and red livery, which was adopted by National Bus Company in 1993. This was simplified in the early 2000s to plain yellow. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied in line with contractual obligations.

Hillsbus Custom Coaches bodied Mercedes-Benz O405 Mk II on Clarence Street, Sydney CBD painted in Westbus cream & red in October 2007 Hillsbus Volgren bodied Scania K230UB at Castle Hill bus interchange in July 2013 Bustech CDI double-decker in Transport for New South Wales livery at Castle Hill interchange Metrobus liveried Hillsbus Volgren CR228L bodied Volvo B7RLE at Castle Hill bus interchange in July 2013

In 1996 Westbus established a separate Hillsbus brand to run express services from the Hills District to the Sydney CBD and North Sydney, initially via the Anzac Bridge and from 1997 via the M2 Hills Motorway.[29] However the Hillsbus brand seemed to have disappeared by the 2000s as these services were classified as Westbus rather than Hillsbus in early versions of the Westbus website.[30] These Westbus services, however, are still referred to by Westbus as "Hills City Express".[31]

On 11 February 2002, Hillsbus was recreated as a joint venture between Westbus and National Express' newly acquired Glenorie Bus Company, and introduced a new bus route 642 under the Hillsbus brand.[32] This service linked Dural and the City via the M2 and was therefore known as a "M2 City" express service. On 8 July the same year, Hillsbus introduced three more M2 City routes 650, 652 and 654.[33][34] According to the Hillsbus timetables, these Hillsbus services were operated by Glenorie,[35] even though neither Westbus nor Glenorie buses were used.[33][36]

In December 2004, all Westbus routes operating out of Northmead and Seven Hills depots, as well as the rest of Glenorie Bus Company, were rebranded Hillsbus.[37] At the same time, Hillsbus took over the operation of Harris Park Transport routes 620 - 630, following the latter ceasing operation. The services were transferred from Hillsbus to Sydney Buses on 28 January 2005.[38] On 25 September 2005, after the purchase of Hillsbus by ComfortDelgro Cabcharge, routes 620, 625, 626, 627 and 630 were transferred back to Hillsbus.[39]

Despite the rebranding to Hillsbus, the new Hillsbus website was only launched in January 2006, about a year after the rebranding.[40] The delay could be related to the debt of Westbus and was only resolved after the sale of Westbus and Hillsbus to CDC. After the launch of the new website, it still did not show any timetables of the former Glenorie-operated timetables until May/June 2006, and during this period, customers were asked to check the Glenorie website instead.[41]

When the Parramatta - Rouse Hill section of the North-West T-way opened on 10 March 2007, routes 730 (renumbered T63) and 735 (renumbered 616, now 616X) were transferred from Busways to Hillsbus with route 718 transferred from Hillsbus to Busways.[42]

Since 2005 Hillsbus' services have formed Sydney Bus Region 4.[43] In August 2013 Hillsbus successfully tendered to operate the Region 4 services for another five years from August 2014.[44][45]

On 30 June 2014, the Opal card was rolled out on all of Hillsbus' NightRide and Region 4 routes (including school services).[46][47]

Hillsbus operates the following services:

As at November 2014, Hillsbus operated 549 buses across four depots Seven Hills, Foundry Road (Seven Hills), Dural and Northmead.[5] Upon formation Hillsbus adopted Westbus' cream and red livery. This was simplified in the early 2000s to plain yellow. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied.

Hunter Valley Buses provides commuter bus, school bus, coach and charter services in the Hunter Region of New South Wales.

The group's origins can be traced back to 1926 when Amos Fogg founded the operation. Having taken control of Hunter Valley Coaches, Maitland and purchased Linsley Brothers, Wallsend along with their Raymond Terrace routes, all were rebranded as Blue Ribbon. In October 1989 Fellowes Bus Service, Swansea was purchased followed by Singleton Bus Service in March 1992.[18][48]

In December 1993, most of the coach operations were sold to Sid Fogg's in exchange for some route services.[49] In 1999 the Maitland, Wallsend and Raymond Terrace depots were consolidated at a new site in Thornton. In February 2000 Blue Ribbon was sold to National Bus Company with 162 buses and coaches.[50] In October 2005 Blue Ribbon was purchased by ComfortDelGro Cabcharge and rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses.

In August 2007, Morisset Bus Service, Sugar Valley Coachlines and Toronto Bus Service were purchased from Robert Hertogs and consolidated into the Hunter Valley Buses operation.[7]

Since 2008, Hunter Valley Buses' services have formed Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Regions 2 and 4.[51]

As at November 2014, Hunter Valley Buses operated 297 buses and coaches across five depots.[5] Upon formation Blue Ribbon adopted a livery of two blues for its route service buses and coaches and white and blue for school buses. Upon being rebranded as Hunter Valley Buses the same allover yellow scheme as used by Hillsbus and Westbus was adopted. In 2010 the Transport for New South Wales white and blue livery began to be applied.

Charterplus is CDC's bus charter division for its Sydney operations. Initially established to centralise the charter operations between the Hillsbus depots, this was expanded to the Westbus depots in 2009. It organises charters for the CDC group, CDC rail bus workings, as well as CDC's special event commitments. Originally based at Bonnyrigg, all Charterplus vehicles are now based at the St Marys depot.

As at November 2014, Charterplus operated 37 buses transferred from both the New South Wales and Victorian operations.[5]

In August 2014, CDC purchased Blue Mountains Bus Company with 101 buses.[11][52] It operates depots in Emu Plains, Leura and Valley Heights.[53] Founded in 1951 as Pearce Omnibus, it operated services in the lower Blue Mountains. In 1999, it expanded with the purchase of Katoomba-Leura Bus Service, followed in 2002 by Blue Mountains Bus Co. On 1 December 2014, CDC formally took over the operations of Blue Mountains Bus Company and rebranded it as Blue Mountains Transit.

Westrans Volgren bodied Volvo B7L at Sunshine station in December 2013

In November 2008, ComfortDelGro Cabcharge purchased Victorian bus operator Kefford Corporation[8] with its fleet of 328 buses and six depots. Kefford was the fourth largest bus operator in Victoria, with a market share of 16%. The fleets retain their individual identities and liveries with small CDC Victoria markings. In July 2013 the route operations of the Driver Group were purchased and integrated into the Eastrans brand.[54][55][56]

On 14 July 2014, CDC Victoria launched a new website for its four Victorian subsidiaries: Westrans, Eastrans, Benders Busways and Davis Bus Lines. Benders Busways was renamed as CDC Geelong and Davis Bus Lines to CDC Ballarat.[57] Soon after, Westrans and Eastrans were rebranded as CDC Melbourne.

CDC's Victorian subsidiaries are:

As at October 2014, CDC Victoria had six depots and operated 446 buses.[58]

Deane's Buslines P&D Coachworks bodied Volvo B7RLE in Canberra in November 2009

In September 2012, CDC purchased Deane's Transit Group which comprised Deane's Buslines which operates local services in Queanbeyan and into Canberra, and Transborder Express which runs services between Yass, Murrumbateman, Hall and Canberra. Both brands also operate school services within their service region. On 8 July 2013, Deane's Buslines was rebranded as Qcity Transit.

As at November 2014, the combined Qcity Transit and Transborder Express fleet consisted of 104 buses.[59]

In the United Kingdom, CityFleet is the umbrella company for CDC's operations in the United Kingdom.[60][61]

CityFleet operates:

In 1986, Westbus commenced operating in England with the purchase of ADP Travel Services, Hounslow and Swinards Coaches, Ashford by the Bosnjak family.[2][3] However, the Westbus UK company operates independently from the Westbus in Australia, despite bearing the latter's name, old logo and livery. It was sold to Armchair Passenger Transport, being reacquired when the latter was purchased by ComfortDelGro in November 2004 and absorbed into Westbus UK operations in November 2006.[3][62][63]

CityFleet operates taxi account, booking and dispatch services in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London, under the names of ComCab or Comfort Executive.[63][64]

Privatisation of London bus services

Best Transportation To Airport

Hong Kong is always bustling with life and it is one of the most happening tourist spots all year round. The city's wonderful culture and traditions with its festivals and events attract tourists from all over the world. So, to support this thriving and ever growing tourism industry, one of the most important aspects that have to be dealt with is transport services. Tourists should be able to travel from one place to another with ease and for this Hong Kong Airport has introduced Airport Transfer and Vehicles Service. This helps tourists reach their hotels easily, without having to worry about directions or also helps them reach their travel destinations.Hong Kong Airport Shuttle ServiceFor the first time visitors, it is often a difficult task to find their way through the busy, lively streets of Hong Kong. Though they are aware of their destinations, which streets to take or how to get there can be confusing. This is where the Airport Shuttle Service comes to make things easier. The tourists are able to avoid the hassle of standing in a queue to book a ride or trying to find a cab, as they are able to pre book their ride on the shuttle. The shuttle service has two parts to it; one, it picks up the tourists from the airport and drops them at their hotel, and two, it also picks up tourists from their hotels and drops them at the airport, ensuring a smooth ride without any problems.• Hong Kong Private Arrival Transfer: This service takes the clients from the airport to their hotel. The service costs $79.• Hong Kong Private Departure Transfer: For those who want to be picked up from the hotel and dropped at the airport, this service is ideal and reasonably priced at $79. Another version of the Hong Kong Private Departure Service helps clients travel from the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to the Airport. This service too costs $79.Other transfer services to or from the Hong Kong Airport include limousine service, private car service and also van services and rentals. All these transfer and vehicles services aim to provide utmost comfort to their passengers and all travelers have found these services to be extremely convenient and time saving. The staff of all these services is dedicated and also often English speaking which helps the passengers communicate better.Hong Kong being an important hub for businesses, industries and trading centers, is bustling with traffic and its airport is one of the places which has to have good transfer and vehicles services. This is exactly what is provided to make all journeys the best and the most reliable.

Taxi Service To Airport Cost

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For safety and for environmental considerations Shuttle Transportation in South Africa, most airports are built far away from cities and other residential areas. This poses an issue of traveling to and from the airport. People need transportation to the airfield when they are flying out and need to reach the airfield in time to catch their flight. Likewise, Taxi Fare To Airport after landing at the airfield from a flight, transport from the airfield to the city is required. Both the issues are solved with private operators operating lax airfield car services.Transportation utilities provide luxury car services to and from the airport.

Private Airport Transfers Near Me

These are mainly chauffeur driven cars, for which travelers may book reservations online. This facility comes as a great advantage to the commuter. With an online reservation system, the traveler is confident that he will be picked up from his hotel, office or home by a cab and taken to the airport right on-time to catch his flight, the service being guaranteed.Most transportation utilities track national and international flights. Therefore, the commuter may rest assured that the transportation from the aerodrome will be available and waiting for him, even if the flight arrives late into the night.

Private Airport Transfers Cost

The traveler no longer has to depend on rented cars and driving them through rush-hour traffic. After the long journey by flight, Airport Limousine Service he could take the luxurious, relaxing ride to his hotel, home or office.They have professional chauffeurs who have been trained to accommodate customer needs. They possess the required expertise and knowledge to conduct the traveler to and from the destination. They know the city roads like the back of their hands and can help the traveler reach his destination on time, even if the normal city roads are choked with traffic.

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Airport car service providers value the relationship with their customers and strive to maintain the required professionalism that is expected from such executive luxury service. These smart luxury car services are hard to forget once their utility has been realized.

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Shuttle-UM is a transit system for the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), which constitutes the UM acronym of the company, that operates as a unit of the university's Department of Transportation Services. The system is student-run and is supported by student fees and the university's Student Affairs department.[2] Its fleet consists of over 60 vehicles and transports approximately three million rides a year.[2] The system provides four different services: commuter, evening, charter, and demand response.[3] The latter consists of a paratransit service and a call response curb-to-curb service during the evening, while the former consists of a bus service that runs for 24 hours, seven days a week. Implied by its name, the bus service routes "shuttle" passengers to and from the university with over 20 different routes. Paid upon admission by students to the university, the services are complimentary and only certain services require university identification badges. In 2012, the company expanded to provide service to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus under the name, UM Shuttle. Additionally, a new facility was built to house Shuttle-UM's operations and fleet within the campus after over 30 years of being housed off campus.

Shuttle-UM was established in November 1972 by the University of Maryland, College Park's (UMD) Black Student Union as an initiative to promote security for students walking through campus during the evening hours. Operations began with the use of two vans to circulate campus, which were purchased by UMD's Student Government Association (SGA), the campus' student governing body, through approval by the Office of Commuter Student Affairs, a campus organization supporting students commuters. The operations were run in the basement of a residence hall on campus and consisted of running the vans on two fixed routes. By Spring 1973, the Residence Hall Association, the governing body for the campus' dormitory halls, donated an additional van which led to three fixed routes running through campus in the evening.[4] By the end of the system's first year of service, 65,000 had been transported.[4] The following year saw the addition of daytime routes to operations to parking lots and the establishment of Call-A-Ride, which was the original first curb-to-curb service for the transit system.[4] In 1975, four Mercedes Benz vans were purchased to expand the fleet to six vehicles. This same year, the name Shuttle-UM was established, three years after being a service provided by SGA, Shuttle-UM was now an independent entity for UMD.[4] Upon the transit system's independence, Charter service was added to its operations in 1975; the following year saw expansion to the curb-to-curb service with Disability Transit Service" for handicap persons; off-campus routes were established in 1976.

During the fall of 1978, Shuttle-UM's first facility was built on an off-campus parking lot on Greenhouse Road adjacent to Baltimore Avenue.[5] The new facility, known as UMD Building 013, featured a 12,000 gallon underground diesel tank, numerous maintenance bays, and a bus wash bay. Upon 1979, the project that started as a security service expanded to a transit system consisting of 10 routes with over 20 vehicles.[6] Barri Standish was hired as the first non-student full-time staff member to serve as the General Manager for Shuttle-UM to provide student guidance in transit operations.[4] Through 1985 and 1988, the Greenhouse facility was expanded to allocate growing operations with administrative offices and maintenance bays.[5] Shuttle-UM's expansion in 1985 also composed of ridership growing to 1.1 million passengers annually and employing 125 student employees that took the positions of "drivers, dispatchers, maintenance assistance, trainers, and managers."[6] By 1986, Shuttle-UM became a member of the American Public Transportation Association and the Transit Association of Maryland.[4] Within 1999 and 2001, the facility's maintenance bays were expanded to accommodate the growing fleet caused by the growing ridership; the administrative offices also underwent a further expansion in 2001 to accommodate growing employment.[5]

For several years, the annual ridership remained above 2 million; however, during the 2011-12 academic year, DOTS started an initiative that would reward their three millionth rider with free books for a school year, which ultimately commenced in their first year with 3 million riders.[7] In 2012, the construction of a brand new facility was completed on Paint Branch Drive within campus adjacent to the XFINITY Center. This new facility fit into DOTS' mission and goal to be more sustainable.

A Shuttle-UM 35 ft. Gillig Low Floor bus

The facility included geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, a green roof, and an in-ground filtration system to separate run-off diesel and storm water in the fueling area. The new facility was able to house all administration that was expanded within the years at the Greenhouse facility and featured an above-ground diesel tank that stored 2,000 gallons more.[5]

Shuttle UM Gillig Advantage at Prince George's Plaza

Shuttle-UM saw its first expansion with the introduction of its UM Shuttle service for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus which strictly serves the surrounding Baltimore areas near campus. President Jay Perman reached an agreement with UMD to answer requests of the UMB community to obtain a shuttle service within campus. In August 2012, UM Shuttle officially launched and began to transport staff, faculty, and other members of the UMB community with three distinct routes. The vehicles for these routes are operated in Baltimore but housed in the Paint Branch facility and driven by UMD employees. Like Shuttle-UM, university ID's grant access to riding the shuttles for UMB.[8]

Shuttle-UM and UM Shuttle are complimentary services via paid student fees and UMD's Student Affairs' funds.[9][10] Additionally, living complexes and businesses pay the organization to run the service in their area, which allow riders to ride by just showing drivers a university ID, not limited to University of Maryland System schools.[11] Residents of College Park were granted access to Shuttle-UM's services via a program approved by city council in 2010, which granted residents passes to show drivers.[12][13] In September 2012, the city of Greenbelt passed a similar program to that of College Park allowing passes for its residents to use Shuttle-UM's services.[14]

Shuttle-UM, although as separate entity in the beginning, is now a branch of DOTS, along with Campus Parking Enforcement. Both are housed at the Paint Branch facility; however, customer inquires regarding parking operate out of Regents Drive Garage offices. Located at Regents Drive Garage are the directors of DOTS, which is overseen by Senior Director David Allen: the directors delegate planning and oversee activity of every branch of the corporation. Every driving staff member for Shuttle-UM that holds a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is assigned a unit number, which are uniquely grouped to identify different departments and status'. These unit numbers are used to eliminate the usage of full names while having radio contact and have an important role in operations for the company.[5]

The Shuttle-UM and Campus Parking Enforcement operations branches of DOTS are overseen by its Senior Associate Director, Armand Scala, who directly reports to Allen. The two chief executives are regarded as being at the top realm of company operations, who work directly with numerous full-time chief operatives. Under the executives are the full-time shift supervisors, who directly manage the full-time driving staff. Student managers have the responsibility of managing student driving staff, alongside being responsible for running several departments of the organization's operations, such as Dispatch and Demand Response.[5]

The drivers for Shuttle-UM are all required to have a CDL class B, with passenger and air-brakes endorsement. These requirements are to be met in order to operate the vehicles in Shuttle-UM's fleet. Although completely composed of student drivers upon the company's inception, as of 2013, staff now features non-student full-time and part-time drivers. The full-time driving staff have a set schedule package that they select before every academic semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer) for UMCP consisting of 40 hours. Students are required to be enrolled at UMCP or University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), the latter due to the sister school sharing the UMCP campus, in order to be eligible to go through CDL training with Shuttle-UM. Students are given the opportunity to obtain their CDL granted upon that they complete a semester's worth of driving, where upon they have the option of leaving or exploring different departments to work for. Like the full-timers, students select shifts before the Spring and Fall semesters only, which are their weekly permanent shifts. Unlike full-time staff, students have more flexibility in choosing individual shifts rather than packages.[15]

Maintenance is overseen by the Fleet Maintenance Manager, who operates through numerous full-time field managers. These on-site managers are in charge of coordinating service to all vehicles in the fleet for Shuttle-UM and Campus Parking Enforcement, which both make up DOTS. Service done to these vehicles include but are not limited to preventative maintenance, DOT inspections, and fixing mechanical problems. Maintenance operates out of multiple bays located in the Paint Branch facility, which facilitates their work due to the facility also housing parking for all vehicles.[16]

The training department consists of certified CDL full-time instructors that are responsible for coordinate training to drivers, students and full-timers, who which to seek employment with Shuttle-UM and obtaining a CDL license. Training consists of multiple sessions that gives drivers numerous hours of training through range and road exercises in order to prepare them for CDL exams administered at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Upon their CDL completion, training is also responsible for giving orientations of all Shuttle-UM commercial vehicles in order to give all drivers and equal opportunity in driving routes that require different vehicles.[17]

The dispatch department is responsible for transit operations in regards to all services provided by the company, including demand response and fixed routes. All dispatchers are students, who are trained to operate the technology and equipment necessary to ensure service is operative. The dispatchers report directly to the shift supervisors upon problems arising before executing decisions that will ensure service being completed. Dispatch also coordinates all customer service inquires regarding routes, demand response, charter, staff, and campus guests. The Shuttle-UM dispatch department operates in sync with the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD), due to the organization being a state-governed agency: this connection with UMPD provides a branch of safety to drivers and to passengers upon distress signals and accident response. As a result, Shuttle-UM dispatch uses certain police 10-codes for daily operations. Aside from dealing with transit operations, the dispatchers are responsible for recording ridership tallies that are radio communicated to them by drivers upon the completion of every run of every route, which in turn gives the organization passenger data to work with in operations.[17]

A 40 ft. Flxible Metro bus in service at Regents Drive Parking Garage. This photo was taken before all of the remaining Flxibles retired in early 2013.

Beginning with simply two routes in 1972, the company has expanded its bus service by currently having 27 routes (23 that serve UMD, 3 that serve UMB, and 1 that serves BSU). Since its existence, the company has added and dropped several of its routes. These known documented instances are noted below. At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 academic year, Shuttle-UM ceased the operation of its 101 Route One Corridor service due to low ridership. This route once had the highest ridership of all routes in operation, but at the current time only averaged over 100 passengers a day. Certain stops that the community rallied to be served were added onto the 110 Seven Springs Apartments route to compensate.[18][19] At the conclusion of the 2007-2008 academic year, the 102 Campus Connector North and 103 Campus Connector South were discontinued in favor of the 125 Campus Circulator. The campus "connector" routes were the only routes that ran through campus before the start of the evening routes. For undisclosed reasons, the routes were merged into one route that saw the continuation of service through the same areas and regions of campus that were originally served.[20][21]

At the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year, the city of Greenbelt saw a reduction in service by Shuttle-UM. The 101 Beltway Plaza served the Beltway Plaza shopping mall by providing students a shopping outlet on the weekends. The route was last served during 2011-2012 and quietly terminated at the start of 2012-13.[3][11]

A Shuttle-UM bus stop located on the UMD campus

Additionally, the 131 Mazza Grandmarc/Enclave Franklin Park no longer ran to the Franklin Park complex in Greenbelt after 2011-12.[3][11] The creation of the 130 Greenbelt and expanded service to the 129 Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station for the 2011-12 academic year saw the merger of the 106 Greenbelt North and 119 Greenbelt South routes, which last ran at the conclusion of 2010-11.[3][6] Additional routes that saw changes included the 123 M-Square which was cancelled between 2010–11 and 2012–13, which saw its services expanded onto the 109 River Road; the 108 Powder Mill Village received a name change and service change to 108 Adelphi by not serving the apartment complex any further.[3][6]

At the conclusion of 2011-12, the 113 University Town Center and 113 University Town Center (Saturday) lost ridership and lost its University Town Center Towers complex funding sponsor. As a result, the route was to be terminated. However, negotiations between student groups and DOTS resulted in the route being kept for one more year (2012–13) under the name 113 Hyattsville which extended the service to the Hyattsville residential neighborhoods.[22] The 2012-13 year saw the cancellation of the company's "park and ride" services: 101 Burtonsville Park and Ride, 107 Laurel Park and Ride, and 120 Bowie Park and Ride. As Shuttle-UM's first aim to promote sustainability by providing service to regions further than the surrounding campus, the routes servicing Burtonsville, Bowie, and Laurel saw a decline in ridership. Riders protested its cancellation; however, on October 12, the routes were serviced for the final time while DOTS provided alternatives for the riders in reaching campus. Additionally to the decline in riders, the 124 The Universities at Shady Grove route required more buses and funds to maintain, thus the park and rides fate was determined by a budget cut necessary to maintain the 124.[23]

With the expansion of Shuttle-UM into Baltimore at the UMB campus, three routes began to service the area in 2012-13 with 701 BioPark, 702 Mount Vernon, and 703 Federal Hill servicing the immediate UMB campus seven days a week.[24]

The Shuttle-UM transit system operates primarily at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) campus with satellite service at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and University of Baltimore (UB). There are currently 31 routes (26 serviced at UMD, 3 serviced at UMB, and 2 serviced at UB) that operate for the University System of Maryland (USM). The UMD routes hub on campus at one of its two terminals: Adele H. Stamp Student Union and Regents Drive Parking Garage, with the exception of one route (see 109 River Road). The UMB routes hub on campus at the Pearl Street Garage. The UB routes hub at one of two terminals: State Center (on campus) and Penn Station (off campus). As the name of the organization implies, the transit system operates as a "shuttle" to and from campus.

There are 15 documented routes that have been cancelled, altered, or renamed.

Scheduled bus service is also available for academic semester breaks from Stamp Student Union to areas outside of Maryland.

Transportation to Metropark in New Jersey allows access to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit routes. Bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal provides indirect access to JFK, LaGuardia and other transit options in New York City.

Shuttle-UM also has seasonal routes to the Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, NJ and Philadelphia.

Shuttle-UM owns over 70 vehicles used to fulfill its service. They range from a variety of builders, models, length, and engine transmission. The company numbers its series according to the year the vehicle was registered to begin service. For example, vehicle 3813 is a 2013 Gillig Low Floor bus, but was not placed in service until 2013. Thus, the 13 is added to the final two digits of Shuttle-UM's series numbering. The vehicles are also grouped in several categories: PHG (Gillig Phantom), LFG (Gillig Low Floor), FFG (40 feet (12 m) Gillig Low Floor Bus), FTL (Freightliner Champion Defender), Vans (Ford E-450, Ford E-350, Dodge Sprinter, Chevrolet Express), and Motor Coach (Setra S417).

  1. ^ a b "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2015" (pdf). American Public Transportation Association. March 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-19 – via http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/ridershipreport.aspx. 
  2. ^ a b Handbook 2012-13, p. 2
  3. ^ a b c d e "Campus Connections" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services at University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hornbake Archives. "Records of Shuttle-UM". University of Maryland, College Park. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Handbook 2012-13, p. 75
  6. ^ a b c d "Shuttle-UM Regulations (2010)". Department of Transportation Services at University of Maryland. 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2012-10-13.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Shuttleregulations10" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ "Freshmen is DOTS 3 millionth rider , wins year's worth of textbooks". Campus Drive blog. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  8. ^ Fishel, Ed (2012-09-13). "Bus Gratis: UM Shuttle arrives". The Voice. University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Missing or empty |url= (help)
  9. ^ "Undergraduate Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 fees". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  10. ^ "Graduate Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 fees". University of Maryland. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  11. ^ a b c "Use of Shuttle-UM by Greenbelt Residents". Greenbelt, Maryland City Council. 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  12. ^ McCarty, Alicia (2010-09-29). "Divided city council passes Shuttle-UM program extension". The Diamondback. College Park, Md. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  13. ^ Schuman, Jonah (2008-08-14). "Shuttle service to open in September". The Gazette. College Park, Md. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  14. ^ Henneberg, Bailey (2012-09-11). "Shuttle-UM kicks off in Greenbelt". Greenbelt Patch. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  15. ^ Handbook 2012-13, p. 33
  16. ^ Handbook 2012-13, p. 50
  17. ^ a b Handbook 2012-13, p. 30
  18. ^ "Shuttle-UM loses Route 1 service but doubles resident ridership". The Gazette. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  19. ^ McGonigle, Kate (2009-07-15). "Bus route changes to make up for lost line". The Diamondback. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  20. ^ a b Department of Transportation Service at the University of Maryland (2006-08-30). "102 Campus Connector North" (PDF). R.H. Smith School Business at the University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  21. ^ a b Department of Transportation Service at the University of Maryland (2006-08-30). "102 Campus Connector South" (PDF). R.H. Smith School Business at the University of Maryland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  22. ^ "UMD students still have Hyattsville shuttle". Hyattsville Patch. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  23. ^ "Service ending October 12th, 2012" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services (UMD). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  24. ^ "UM Shuttle". University of Maryland, Baltimore. Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  25. ^ "104-College Park Metro Station map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  26. ^ "104-College Park Metro Station map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  27. ^ "105-The Courtyards map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  28. ^ "108-Adelphi map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  29. ^ "108-Adelphi map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  30. ^ "109-River Road map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  31. ^ "110-Seven Springs Apartments map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  32. ^ "111-Silver Spring map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  33. ^ "111-Silver Spring map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  34. ^ "113-Hyattsville map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  35. ^ "113-Hyattsville map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  36. ^ "114-University View map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  37. ^ "115-Orange map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  38. ^ "116-Purple map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  39. ^ "117-Blue map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  40. ^ "118-Gold map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  41. ^ "122 Green map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  42. ^ "124-The Universities at Shady Grove map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  43. ^ "125-Circulator map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  44. ^ "126-New Carrollton map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  45. ^ "126-New Carrollton map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  46. ^ "127 Mazza GrandMarc map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  47. ^ "128-The Enclave map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  48. ^ "129-Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  49. ^ "129-Franklin Park at Greenbelt Station map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  50. ^ "130-Greenbelt map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  51. ^ "130-Greenbelt map and timetable (summer)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-06-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  52. ^ "131-The Enclave and Mazza GrandMarc map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. [permanent dead link]
  53. ^ "132-The Varsity map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  54. ^ "133-The Mall at Prince George's map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  55. ^ "134-Mazza GrandMarc and Seven Springs map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2015-05-04. 
  56. ^ "135 University Connector map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-28. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  57. ^ "136 Indigo map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Department of Transportation Services, Shuttle-UM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-15. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  58. ^ "701 BioPark/Midtown Medical Center map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  59. ^ "702 Mount Vernon map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  60. ^ "703 Federal Hill map and timetable (current)" (PDF). Parking and Transportation Services, UM Shuttle. 2014-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-01. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  61. ^ "601 State Center timetable (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  62. ^ "601 State Center map (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  63. ^ "602 Penn Station timetable (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  64. ^ "602 Penn Station map (current)" (PDF). University of Baltimore Auxiliary Enterprises, UB Shuttle. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 

Executive Limousine Service For Airport Transportation

Affordable Airport Pickup Service

Free public transport, often called fare free public transit or zero-fare public transport, refers to public transport funded in full by means other than collecting fares from passengers. It may be funded by national, regional or local government through taxation or by commercial sponsorship by businesses. The concept of "free-ness" is one that may take other forms, such as no-fare access via a card which may or may not be paid in its entirety by the user.

Tallinn, capital city of Estonia with more than 420,000 inhabitants, and several mid-size European cities and many smaller towns around the world have converted their public transportation networks to zero-fare. The city of Hasselt in Belgium is a notable example: fares were abolished in 1997 and ridership was as much as "13 times higher" by 2006.[1]

See list below.

Local zero-fare shuttles or inner-city loops are far more common than citywide systems. They often use buses or trams. These may be set up by a city government to ease bottlenecks or fill short gaps in the transport network.

See List of free public transport routes for a list of zero-fare routes within wider (fare-paying) networks

Zero-fare transport is often operated as part of the services offered within a public facility, such as a hospital or university campus shuttle or an airport inter-terminal shuttle.

Some zero-fare services may be built to avoid the need for large transport construction. Port cities where shipping would require very high bridges might provide zero-fare ferries instead. These are free at the point of use, just as the use of a bridge might have been. Machinery installed within a building or shopping centre can be seen as 'zero-fare transport': elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks are often provided by property owners and funded through the sales of goods and services. Community bicycle programs, providing free bicycles for short-term public use could be thought of as zero-fare transport.

A common example of zero-fare transport is student transport, where students travelling to or from school do not need to pay. A notable example is the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, which provides much of the funding to operate the Stevens Point Transit system. All students at the university can use any of the four citywide campus routes and the other four bus routes throughout the city free of charge. The university also funds two late night bus routes to serve the downtown free of charge with a goal of cutting down drunk driving.

In some regions transport is free because the revenues are lower that expenses from fare collection is already partially paid by government or company or service (for example BMO railway road in Moscow, most part of is used to as service transport and officially pick up passengers).

Many large amusement parks will have trams servicing large parking lots or distant areas. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, runs a tram from its entrance, across the parking lot, and across the street to its hotel as well as the bus stop for Orange County and Los Angeles local transit buses. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, provides tram service throughout its parking lot.

Dubai in the UAE, has just announced it will offer free bus services for a short period of time and it will only be on some days [2]

Transport operators can benefit from faster boarding and shorter dwell times, allowing faster timetabling of services. Although some of these benefits can be achieved in other ways, such as off-vehicle ticket sales and modern types of electronic fare collection, zero-fare transport avoids equipment and personnel costs.

Passenger aggression may be reduced. In 2008 bus drivers of Société des Transports Automobiles (STA) in Essonne held strikes demanding zero-fare transport for this reason. They claim that 90% of the aggression is related to refusal to pay the fare.[3]

Some zero-fare transport services are funded by private businesses (such as the merchants in a shopping mall) in the hope that doing so will increase sales or other revenue from increased foot traffic or ease of travel. Employers often operate free shuttles as a benefit to their employees, or as part of a congestion mitigation agreement with a local government.

Zero-fare transport can make the system more accessible and fair for low-income residents. Other benefits are the same as those attributed to public transport generally:

Global benefits of zero-fare transport are also the same as those attributed to public transport generally. If use of personal cars is discouraged, zero-fare public transport could mitigate the problems of global warming and oil depletion.

Several large U.S. municipalities have attempted zero-fare systems, but many of these implementations have been judged unsuccessful by policy-makers. A 2002 National Center for Transportation Research report suggests that, while transit ridership does tend to increase, there are also some disadvantages:[4]

This U.S. report suggests that, while ridership does increase overall, the goal of enticing drivers to take transit instead of driving is not necessarily met: because fare-free systems tend to attract a certain number of "problem riders", zero-fare systems may have the unintended effect of convincing some 'premium' riders to go back to driving their cars. It should be kept in mind that this was a study that only looked at U.S. cities, and the author's conclusions may be less applicable in other countries that have better social safety nets and less crime than the large U.S. cities studied.[4]

For local and/or limited services, see List of free public transport routes

Free public transport creates the perception of a no-cost service, just as car drivers commonly perceive no cost to deciding to take their car somewhere. The catch of the car-based system is that the car trip is not in fact free, but it is generally perceived as such.

Likewise, this perception of freeness is important for public transport, which is far more environmentally and resource efficient than own-car travel – which means in this case that full access to the system need not be altogether “free” for its users but that from a financial perspective it becomes (a) front-loaded and (b) affordable. The invariable fact of life of delivering any public service is that the money to do so must come from somewhere – and of “free” public transport that once the user has entered into some kind of “contract” with her or his city – for example a monthly or annual transit pass that opens up the public system to unlimited use for those who pay for it. Now, how they pay and how much will be part of the overall political/economic package (“contract”) of their community. In cities that offer such passes – as is the case to take but one example in most cities in France that since the mid-seventies have had their own Carte Orange – the remainder of the funds needed to pay for these services comes from other sources (mainly in this case from employers, local government).

Social-justice advocacy groups, such as the Swedish network Planka.nu, see zero-fare public transport as an effort in the redistribution of wealth.[40] It is also argued that transportation to and from work is a necessary part of the work day, and is essential to the employer in the managing of work hours. It is thus argued that financing of public transportation should fall to employers rather than private citizens.[41]

Airport Shuttle Service Price

https://www.gloviz.co.za/benoni/

Gloviz Have Taxi Number List