Modular route bus design – A method of meeting transport operation and vehicle manufacturing requirements


Robbie Napper

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - vehicle


Transit, Bus, Design, Manufacture, Vehicle, Operation, Specification


This research examines the problem of route bus specification and vehicle manufacturability. In order for bus operators to provide transport services, a range of vehicle configurations must be available from bus manufacturers, generating variety which has a negative impact on the manufacturing process. Larger part inventories, uncontrolled labour tasks and more troublesome maintenance are known impacts of this variety. This research identifies the functional necessities in route bus interior design and reduces the problems in bus manufacture and operation caused by specification diversity by proposing a modularised system of bus design. In particular, it makes recommendations as to how bus configuration should be carried out, ensuring an optimum mix of operational and manufacturing needs:


Determine user needs before the bus specification process.


Designs to be developed by the manufacturer in response to user needs.


This design should be standardised where possible, as suggested by the user needs.


Where user needs dictate product variations, apply a mass customisation approach to accommodate these needs.

The recommendations are communicated in design proposals for a modular bus interior, demonstrated by four cases designed to meet the present status quo of bus interior design and predictions for the future of the field.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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