How The Double-Decker Bus Was Invented

Double decker bus
Photo by Enix on Unsplash

When you think of London, a picture of a red double-decker bus is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. And in London, this iconic form of public transportation remains more than just a tourist attraction—these are the regular city buses commuters ride every day. But how was the double-decker bus invented?

The concept of double-decker transportation actually dates back to the late 18th century. Initially, double-decker horse-drawn carriages were used for public transport in cities like Paris and London. These carriages could accommodate more passengers than single-decker versions, making them a practical choice for crowded urban areas.

The idea of a double-decker vehicle for public transportation extended to trams in the 19th century. Double-decker trams became popular in cities like New York, Liverpool, and London. They provided more seating capacity and helped cities move passengers more efficiently.

From trams to buses wasn’t a big step.

In 1907, London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) introduced the first mass-produced motorized double-decker bus, known as the B-type bus. It quickly became a symbol of London’s public transportation. With the open-top design, conductors could easily collect fares, and the design maximized passenger capacity.