A Brief History of the Minibus (And Why It Matters Which One You Choose)

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Face it, air travel is prohibitively expensive, and train tickets aren’t much better. Couple that with the fact that travel has become a necessity of the modern age and you’re facing a bit of a conundrum — how do you transport an entire group of little churchgoers on their latest pilgrimage to the cinema to see the latest gripping God-centric drama a la Heaven Is For Real?

If you’re lucky enough to live in an urban center, a good portion of the kids’ parents will likely volunteer to carpool, leaving you, the organizer, with the smaller responsibility of transporting those whose folks can’t. Everyone should be able to cram into a minivan, so the problem is solved. But what about church groups based out vastly expanding rural communities? They’re going to have to rely on something better.

For plenty of parishes, the only sensible answer is an old reliable church bus, a 15 passenger bus or some other kind of smaller bus. But what are the best mini bus companies out there? To understand that, you’ll need to look at the very history of the vehicle in question.

From carriages to roving modern wagons.

The earliest buses were actually manufactured from carriages and, later, truck chassis frames. As demand for higher-capacity transport vehicles grew, buses and vans grew with it, and today’s mini buses are able to carry anywhere from eight to 30 comfortably, depending on the size of the vessel. Fun fact: larger mini buses that can hold more passengers are colloquially called “midibuses” (short for mid-sized buses).

Public transport and taxis.

Today’s mini bus companies often specialize in either vehicles that serve public transportation purposes (like in cities) or ferry services (also common in urban settings). That’s because bus frames have been specifically engineered and manufactured for the past 30 years or so to be sturdier than a typical van’s, ensuring no additional weight or movement will cause hazardous rollover accidents or other motion issues.

Shuttles and personal transport.

Now we return to your church group’s dilemma. If you can, spring for a church-approved shuttle bus or heavy-duty mini bus instead of more dangerous alternate options like passenger vans. The shuttles will perform better around turns and significantly decrease the chances the vehicle will endure any danger on the road, but beyond that, buses are simply better investments all around. If you don’t agree, just check the numbers.

For more information about which mini bus companies are best (and most ideal for long field trips), get in touch with a local dealership. Read more: www.carpenterbus.com

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