Tickets Please…

Contemporary photograph of Amédée Bollée’s steam vehicle ”L’Obeissante” from 1875


Bus ticketing systems have been around since around 1830, when the first ‘bus’ was developed. The first buses were developed in Europe — primarily in England and Germany. The first design was a stage coach driven by steam engine. These were able to go across terrain that was too rough for horses, and they caused less damage to the roads, as the tyres were wider.





In the 1880s, another transport concept was being developed: trams and the trolley bus. Trams were

powered by electric wires and rails, the trolley bus by electric overhead wires. Mechanically powered vehicle development was disrupted, however, when tolls and laws prevented their movements and restricted their speed around cities.

Tickets that were issued on the horsebuses, trams and trolley buses.

It wasn’t until the last few years of the 1800s that the first true buses were developed. One of the earliest models of motor buses was put into action on the streets of London in 1898. The bus travelled up to 18 km/hr and could carry up to twenty passengers. The success of this bus led the way to future development in the industry in other countries as well.  Only a few years later, in 1902, the first mass-produced bus was developed. It was a double-decker bus that even found service during war time.



1930s Trolley Bus, Sydney, Australia

In the 1920s, buses found their way to the US, with the first company founded in Chicago. Throughout the 20th century, the developments in bus design created many new models, including the invention of the articulated (bendy) bus, minibuses, and leisure buses (coaches). The progression within the industry also included the ticketing systems developed. 





Along with the advance in buses, the ticketing systems have change substantially as well. In the 1950s, buses had a ‘Ticket Conductor’, taking the fare from the passenger and issuing a ticket for the journey.


Modern trams and buses, and their ticketing systems, vastly different to those of the early years.

New systems are computerised. It can also allow the customer to use a mobile phone app to connect to a credit card and pay for your bus ticket.