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Local Transport Around the World: Buses Not to Miss

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Technicolor bus in Colombia

Technicolor bus in Colombia

Technicolor Buses in Colombia

“I had a lot of fun taking photos of the buses in Baranquilla, Colombia. They are all randomly colourful, with funny stickers. I wanted to hop on board, but according to some, that’s not the best idea – my friend from Colombia didn’t let me ride them.”

~ Andre Franchini, CEO of Hotel Link Solutions

The world's longest bus - the Ligeirao-Azul - in Curitiba, Brazil

The world's longest bus - the Ligeirao-Azul - in Curitiba, Brazil

World’s Longest Bus in Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba, the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná, is also known as the ecological capital of Brazil. It is one of the most well-regarded cities in the world in terms of urban planning, especially for its efficient and innovative rapid transit bus system, which is considered to be one of the best in the world.

In March (2011), on the city’s 318th anniversary, Curitiba launched its new buses. The ‘Blue Ligeirão’ – an express line. At 28 metres in length, it is the longest bus in the world and has room for 250 passengers! Besides using 100% biodiesel fuel, these buses are very comfortable and offer great conditions for special-needs passengers. it’s the best gift that the population of Curitiba could get to celebrate its birthday.”

~ Guilherme Mendes Thomaz, the whl.travel local connection in Curitiba, Brazil

a bus in Borneo, Malaysia

A 'promoted' bus in Borneo, Malaysia

‘Promoted’ Buses in Borneo, Malaysia

“To us in Borneo, local buses are a normal part of daily life. The funny thing for foreigners (we had an intern from overseas who thought this was really amusing) is that the buses at the Kota Kinabalu terminal have ‘promoters.’ The promoters stand near the bus and shout out the destination. They also announce how many seats are left before bus departure. The promoters help collect the bus fares and get a small part of the bus’s revenue.”

~ Jessica Peter, whl.travel local connection in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia

A green bus in Borneo, Malaysia

A green bus in Borneo, Malaysia

Green Buses in Borneo, Malaysia

“Borneo Eco Tours adapted environmentally friendly driving habits and maintenance techniques as one of its green practices. Join-in tours and transfers are encouraged in an effort to help conserve fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emission. Every trip is consolidated beforehand enabling our driver to bypass congested routes and lead to less idling, fewer startups and less stop-and-go traffic.

As an innovative way to identify our vehicles, each one was named according to the local wildlife in Sabah, like Pongo, Hornbill and Langur. This naming is particularly useful for our guest to easily identify our vehicles when we happen to be on the same tour routes followed by dozens of other tour operators with similar vehicle types.”

~ Jessica Peter, whl.travel local connection in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia

A Jeepney bus in Manila, Philippines

A Jeepney bus in Manila, Philippines

Jeepney Buses in Manila, Philippines

Many Jeepneys easily qualify as ‘art on wheels.’ Lovingly adorned with custom paint and accessories by their owners, these veritable masterpieces glisten in the sun with their shining fixtures catching the light, their hoods crowded with all sorts of buffed stainless steel figurines and their sides acting as an expansive metal canvas, colourfully painted or airbrushed with adverts or images of personal significance.

~ Read more in Photo of the Week: The Jeepney – King of the Road, Manila, Philippines

local transport roundup- Chiva in Ecuador

A Chivaa Quiteña party bus in Quito, Ecuador. Photo by Luis Fernando Aldaz

The Chiva Party Bus in Quito, Ecuador

“In Quito, Ecuador, the city’s annual birthday party is an event that invites you to enjoy cultural festivities for more than a week, beginning on November 28. Prepare for nine days of events, popular games, music, art, painting and bullfights, not to mention the special celebrations on the famous Chivas Quiteñas. This party-on-wheels tours the streets of Quito for the whole duration of the nine-day fiesta, creating joyous and even hilarious memories for everyone who gets on board. For more of 15 years these vehicles have been an essential ingredient to the celebrations in Quito. A Chiva Quiteña holds approximately 40-45 people and is equipped with balloons, live music, lights, games and a host of ‘Happy Quiteños’ who enjoy pleasant moments with family, friends and tourists who join the celebration.”

~ Maria Fernanda Cabascango, the whl.travel local connection in Quito, Ecuador

Classic bus from the 1950s, Malta

Classic bus from the 1950s, Malta

Classic Buses in Malta

“This image depicts a classic Maltese bus, some of the ‘newer’ models of which date from as late as the 1970s. Most are traditional British brands such as Leyland, Bedford and AEC, and became Malta icons often dated back to the 1950s or 1960s.

Since 1995, these classic buses have been painted canary yellow (in the 1980s they were green and before that they were colour-coded by route). The cheerful and unusual buses bowed their heads to new, more comfortable buses on the 3rd of July 2011, when Arriva took over the public transport system in Malta.”

~ Marco Attard, the whl.travel local connection in Malta

The Suite Platinum Bus to Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Suite Platinum Bus to Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Suite Platinum Bus to Buenos Aires, Argentina

“If you are in South America and bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina, do not fly. For Americans, the government of Argentina charges an exorbitant $140 airport arrival fee in reciprocity for increasing visa fees in the U.S. for Argentinians. You can avoid this fee by arriving by bus. It’s slower but much more fun to spend that money on a luxury overnight bus.

I took the Balut Suite Platinum from Salta in northern Argentina to Buenos Aires. I’ve been on a few long bus rides in South America, and this was definitely the classiest. The seats reclined to a full 180º near-bed position, and each seat had its own little screen for movie-watching. You can help yourself to water, tea or coffee at any time, and meals are included. During the scenic, smooth, 20-hour ride, I hardly felt like I was on a bus at all.”

~ Cynthia Ord, The Travel Word, Newsletter Editor

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