When I came to Bremen, one of the first things that fascinated me were the red-and-white buses. Together with all their infrastructure and organization. There are time sheets at every bus stop, and the schedule is followed. Inside the buses, next stops are announced both with a voice and on an electronic table. There are buttons to ask for the stop, and they are all around the interior, compared to the single small ones above the doors in Russian buses (in Russia they are obviously not used that much, buses just stop at all stops most of the time). Later, I also noticed that the seats in Bremen buses and trams are covered with a special cloth that has the city and transport symbols on it.
But the most fascinating trait of them was that all of them had the same red-and-white painting. At first, I could see only the colors, and all of the buses seemed the same. Later, I starting distinguishing different makes and models by their front and rear lights, by their length (one or two sections), by their method of opening the doors (“normal” turning, going out and sideways, or just sliding sideways).
I love their sound. I love the driving style: starting slowly but powerfully, driving carefully, stopping exactly at the same spots all the time. I like that they have a low floor and that they stop close to the sidewalks, so people can just step inside. People do not need to jump or to go down and back up as in Russia, where buses tend to stop about 0.5-2 meters from the sidewalk, just being in rush and lazy to change the line and come closer.
I like that it is mostly a monopoly, and the buses always go calmly, no matter if it is only one bus or four buses together head-to-tail. They are not fighting for the passengers, although this is also influenced by the fact that there is only little money actually coming to the bus, most people either have yearly/monthly/semester tickets, or use e-ticket cards or buy the tickets at the machines at the train stations.
Unfortunately, with time, I see more and more buses and trams covered with advertisements. That’s a pity. It destroys the unified style that they had and that I loved so much. It makes them feel different, and sometimes there is a glimpse of desire to skip the bus because I don’t like how it looks anymore. Sometimes, the ad covers the windows, so it becomes darker inside and people sitting near those windows cannot look through.
If the bus company gave me the right to choose, I would vote against the ads, and for all buses becoming the same red-and-white again. Here, take a look at their beauty:
Do you like the public transport in your city or town? What do you like about it? What would you like to improve? Tell us about it in the comments below!