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Whenever I want to learn about train travel for a specific country of region I first go to the site The Man in seat sixty-one. It lists the major routes, railway companies and describes rolling stock as well as having timetable and price information.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are no trains and one has to take a coach (overland bus). Is there a site out there that covers bus travel around the world in a similar way to Seat61?

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2 Answers

This doesn't exactly answer your question, but I don't think you'll find a single, centralised resource.

There's, of course, a reason behind why it's humanly possible to put together a resource like Seat 61. In many countries, trains are either nationalised (most countries) - either fully or like in the UK where the infrastructure is nationalised but the train operations aren't. Regardless of how the infrastructure is operated, train services are often either run by a single company / public body or an oligopoly of companies because of the capital involved and the limited nature of rail network 'resource'.

Bus companies in most countries on the other hand are more loosely regulated than trains or even other sectors such as airlines. These may still be a handful in Europe and North America, but the moment you get to Asia things get more complex as you'll literally find dozens of companies operating. Additionally, unlike train and airline reservation and scheduling systems which are largely computerised, bus services in many countries aren't at all making it harder to put together a centralised resource.

You'd be better off asking for bus schedule and information resources for individual countries or regions you're interested in.

EDIT: I recently came across this website called The Bus Station. It does not contain in-depth articles and guides as Seat61 does but for many countries it does have website / bus operator listings. Not the nicest site on your eyes though! Better than nothing I'd say if you can still at least look up bus schedules online. One thing to note could be that in parts of the world, bus operators offering online booking / schedules might be costlier ones and you may as well find cheaper operators once you're in the country.

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The dreaded smiley-before-parenthesis... :| –  Ankur Banerjee Dec 27 '11 at 0:56
    
Added details of a new site I found. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 12 '12 at 14:32
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I do agree with Ankur that there is no single resource for bus travel, so I toyed with the idea of creating one. Thinking about what it would take and how to do this I realized, it is a much too big project for one person. So unless there is a group or whole community working on it in a Wiki style it would not work. So I discarded the idea.

However when thinking about the content for the site I remembered that the Lonely Planet guides usually have a pretty good section on bus transport. I looked in some of my single country guides and then compared that to what they have online.

It turns out they have a decent bus transport section for each country. So by going to www.lonelyplanet.com/countryname/transport/getting-around and then to the 'Bus & tram' section you get a lot of useful information on traveling on buses in that country.

It is not perfect, but it is a good start.

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I've also toyed around with the idea so much that I bought a domain for it back in May. But yes, the design of the system is just HUGE. I mean, if you finished it, it would seriously dwarf seat61, and be FAR more complicated. But as a traveller, wow, it'd be nice ;) –  Mark Mayo Dec 28 '11 at 20:29
    
I found the 'The Bus Station' site that Ankur mentioned pretty useless, and the Lonely Planet pages actually very useful after using them a few time to answer questions here. So I accept my own answer. The answer to the original question is still: 'No' –  Peter Hahndorf Jan 29 '12 at 22:12
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