The Continuing Evolution of Shuttle Buses, Church Vans and Other Passenger Vehicles

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // 15 passenger bus for sale, Church buses for sale, Passenger vans

Starcraft bus

It’s nearly summertime, which means if you’re part of a church group, a youth organization or some other kind of recreational gathering, you’re likely starting to plan out your next field trip. And unless you’re affiliated with a local school, you’re not likely to have a school bus at your disposal to help you reach your destination. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to get to the water slide park (or the national park, or the science museum, etc.), but the question is: are they affordable on your organization’s budget?

  • Planes: Seeing as how the average ticket for airfare is currently just under $500, plane travel doesn’t appear to be a particularly youth group-friendly means of getting from Point A to Point B.
  • Trains: Though train tickets are significantly cheaper than booking a flight, there’s no guarantee that the trip will run on schedule. Amtrak trains are notoriously tardy, after all — something you can’t afford on a tight travel schedule.
  • Automobiles: Unless you want a highway caravan that spans for multiple miles, separate car travel isn’t the smartest idea. Couple general inconveniences with exorbitant gas costs, and you’ll see why the car idea is right out.

Now that all your initial ideas have been dashed to bits, there’s the one you forgot about — bus travel. No, not school bus travel, but the kind you can rely on from 15 passenger buses, minibuses, shuttle buses and church buses. In fact, these vehicles were designed specifically for those kinds of travel going back into the middle part of the 20th century.


The earliest bus for sale was actually manufactured in the same manner as carriages and trucks before mechanics developed an individual chassis specifically for the bus shape. In the 1980s, these van-based buses became quite popular, although that’s retreated more now because of safety concerns. In fact, the most modern minibus for sale today often has seating restrictions specifically because of safety issues with a shifting center of gravity.

Modern practical use.

Take, for example, the 15 passenger van. It’s constructed as a transport van, meaning it’s not necessarily been created to have additional human weight added to its rear. Doing so has led to increased rollover accidents across the world, which is why the 15 passenger bus has risen to prominence instead. Its safer designs include a thicker frame and additional weight distribution to cut down on rolling over and other motion accidents.


Driving a large bus is not the same as driving a regular car, a pickup or even an SUV. While not every kind of bus requires a commercial operator’s license, only experienced folks should climb behind the wheel, especially when it comes to transporting folks for a field trip or another innocuous academic purpose.

Now you have all the information you need about why a certain bus for sale today is designed in certain ways. For more information, always talk to a dealer (or a driver) in your area.

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