The common minibus has a long and fascinating history.
The earliest incarnation of the minibus is thought to be the omnibus which was first used in Paris in 1828 to transport passengers around the city and was essentially a large horse-drawn carriage.
In 1895 Karl Benz developed the first motorized bus. From this point in history motorized mass public transport became a reality and a few years later public bus services began to come into operation.
Modern minibuses can hold between 8 and 16 people and are far more comfortable and efficient than their early ancestors. Many industries rely on such forms of transport to help their day-to-day operation.
This article explains three key industries that rely on minibuses as a form of transport.
1. Taxi Services
Many taxi firms need to have at least one minibus in their range of vehicles. Whilst the common hackney black cab is perfect for journeys in and around cities it can only hold five passengers as a maximum.
This is fine for many passenger journeys but often groups of tourists or travellers need to take a taxi journey to the nearest airport.
In such circumstances, there are normally a large number of luggage items and more people than a common taxi can comfortably and legally carry.
In these circumstances, the minibus provides a perfect form of transport. Companies such as The Minibus Centre provide a range of new models of the minibus that are perfectly suited for taxi firm usage and can be modified to specific requirements.
Some taxi firms will modify their minibuses so that they can carry disabled passengers. This typically involves fitting a motorized ramp into the design of the vehicle with electric opening doors.
In short, every good taxi firm will have at least one minibus in their fleet to allow them to transport larger passenger numbers in comfort.
2. Tour Operators
Another industry that relies on minibuses for some of its operations is tour operators. Local tour operators that operate on a national basis may use a range of minibuses to take customers to music events or festivals.
This is a favoured method of transport amongst many festival goers who want to sit back and relax as an experienced driver takes them to their festival site along with their tents and backpacks.
In addition, larger multinational tour operators who specialize in offering a range of foreign holidays may use a large fleet of minibuses.
These will typically be used to take their customers from the destination airport to the hotels they are staying at.
A final industry that will extensively use at least one minibus is found in the education sector. Many primary and secondary schools will have one or more minibuses that are either owned or on long-term hire contracts with third-party companies.
These minibuses will pick up the school children from the towns and villages within the schools’ catchment area and transport them safely and efficiently to school so that they can continue their studies.
Schools also often require minibuses for the school sports team when there are away matches and may have a dedicated minibus that is used for school trips.