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I'm about to take a depressingly long bus ride in Latin America and am wondering what the longest scheduled public bus ride in the world is.

By 'scheduled' I mean for there to be a regularly operating connection between the start and destination locations, without switching buses. Besides the fact that they no longer seem to operate, this would disqualify something like oz-bus.

By 'longest' I'm tending to favour distance over duration, though either way, circular repetitive journeys would obviously be excluded.

Edit (August 2017): I took the bus from Lima to Rio de Janeiro. Just over five days from beginning to end. A write up.

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    Regretfully, I'm marking this as 'too broad'. I'm thinking of the bus from Tomsk to Moscow, but really... There might even be a service to Krasnoyarsk! I admire those who attempt an answer anyway. – Gayot Fow Sep 21 '15 at 3:17
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    There is no need to look at every bus route in the entire world. That would just be silly. Many of us, here, are seasoned travellers, able to narrow down possible answers significantly. (And, in addition, this site has several 'longest', 'furthest', etc. questions that are accepted as valid.) – MastaBaba Sep 21 '15 at 3:46
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    @CGCampbell The fact that I'm amazed by a China to Moscow connection does not mean it also qualifies as a valid answer. The implication was, however, that Irkutsk to Moscow was direct. Anyway, it seems to me the question is clear and, as I also pointed out, this website has many similar longest/furthest questions that have been accepted as valid questions and required similar, or more, legwork to answer. Here's just one: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/5149/… – MastaBaba Sep 21 '15 at 23:52
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    To the naysayers, I find it a bit sad that this question has been put on hold as 'too broad'. There are neither 'too many possible answers', nor would 'a good answer be too long'. Specifically, only very few possible answers exist: Lima to Sao Paulo, some long distance connection in Russia, or something similar between Russia and one of the bordering states. Is that too much to handle? – MastaBaba Sep 21 '15 at 23:58
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    Should we clarify that you're looking for an inter-city bus, to disqualify a continually-running, circular route on an electric bus, which might run the same route for weeks on end without stopping, by changing drivers every few hours? (I don't know if such a route exists, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does somewhere, and that would kind of throw a wrench into the calculations here. Although maybe your current criteria would disqualify such a route anyway, by counting the distance traveled as 0. :) – Flimzy Sep 22 '15 at 2:12
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Lima to Rio de Janeiro. Six hours more than Lima to São Paulo. DW has a documentary on this trip. My personal longest is SP to Recife - 54 hours (scheduled for 48 hours)

52

I work at Busbud, where we're working to aggregate all the world's bus providers and routes. I had a look though our database. We're sure we don't know about everything yet, but we've found a lot of routes. There are several long routes in South and North America. I compared them using the driving distance calculated by Google Maps.

Looking for trips with no transfers, where it seems the same vehicle travels the whole route, here are the top contenders:

South America:

  • 6118 km: Lima, Peru to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Ormeño) - via Sao Paulo and Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. DW Documentary on it's launch.
  • 5582 km: Lima, Peru to Buenos Aires, Argentina (Ormeño) - via Santiago, Chile.

There are documentaries and tv reports about the long direct routes on youtube where you can see the same coach goes all the way through.

North America:

Europe:

  • 3631 km: Braunschweig, Germany to Grozny, Chechnya, Russia (KVN) - The route is currently a bit longer than normal since it's detouring around the entire eastern Ukraine through Belarus.
  • 3558 km: Burgas, Bulgaria to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom (Sofia Bus) - via Maribor, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Paris, London, Manchester.

Africa

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    Awesome! Your Lima to Sao Paulo is too short as it runs through Rio Branco, in Acre, making the total distance closer to 5700km. – MastaBaba Sep 22 '15 at 18:18
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    kvn24.de – Carl Sep 22 '15 at 18:20
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    The only China-Russia connections we know are over around Vladivostock, they're much shorter (~1000km) – Carl Sep 22 '15 at 18:26
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    @Carl: I love how 1000 km counts as "short" in the context of this question. – Michael Seifert Sep 23 '15 at 13:05
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    "All passengers are required to get off the bus for cleaning in Sudbury" - the bus or the passengers? :) – The Wandering Dev Manager Sep 23 '15 at 15:21
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It's very hard to prove which one is the longest. There's a 96 hour ride by Expreso Ormeño from Lima to Sao Paulo. I can't find proof that Birmingham bus ever happened.

  • The Lima to Sao Paulo bus departs once a week. – MastaBaba Sep 21 '15 at 1:00
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    I know a friend of mine who came from Russia in a bus, on a 5-day long bus trip. If that's true or not, I can't exactly tell. – Ismael Miguel Sep 21 '15 at 10:19
  • 6.000km trip you can find pictures here (article in portuguese). Brazil is a large country where bus trips are common, Not hard to find 2 days trips from São Paulo to the northen states. Also check rules about stops, in Brazil there are a few laws about stops frequency, for example the bus must stop each 4 hours and dirvers must switch each 8hrs, etc – jean Sep 21 '15 at 11:11
  • that happens in the canadian example below, but its the drivers that change, no transfers (passenger does not have to get off the bus) that I think the OP cares about. – pocketfullofcheese Sep 22 '15 at 18:11
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I once took a bus from Toronto, ON (Canada) to Yellowknife, NWT. It took 80 hours. However, I seem to recall switching buses once in Calgary, AB. A search on (search at Greyhound suggests there is a transfer in Winnipeg, which I don't remember). That makes it about 2000km. Or 3400km if it was Calgary (it doesn't cut through the US).

  • That might be a contender for the longest North American bus ride. :) – MastaBaba Sep 21 '15 at 13:33
  • A colleague once traveled from Toronto to Mexico City by Greyhound many many years ago. Current Greyhound website informs it takes 78h but includes 5 transfers – blackbird Sep 21 '15 at 17:51
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    While Toronto to Calgary seems to currently require a transfer in Winnipeg, Calgary to Toronto appears to be one bus without any transfers. It takes 52 hours, 20 minutes if it runs on time. – Michael Seifert Sep 22 '15 at 17:44
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    I took the Calgary to Toronto bus last week, ran like clock-work on the departing each stop on the dot. – Carl Sep 22 '15 at 18:04
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    @I've done the Calgary (well, Banff to Calgary first), to Toronto, gave up in Winnipeg and switched to train ;) – Mark Mayo Sep 23 '15 at 0:37
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Harare Zimbabwe to Dare Salaam Tanzania 2,285 km Taqwa and Falcon Buses is the lonngest in Africa 52 Hours journey.

4

In Europe, Eurolines operates relatively frequent bus drives between major cities and holiday favourites. The longest direct line I could find on their website rides from Hamburg (Germany), to Burgas (Bulgaria), takes 40 hours and covers just over 2300 km (assuming they take the shortest route). There might be longer ones, ... EDIT: From their French site, they also operate a direct line from Paris to Casablanca (Maroc). Also just over 2300 km, takes roughly 37 hours.

I remember from my visit to Argentina that they have very long bus rides with luxury buses including sleeping facility. I looked it up in the Lonely Planet (2008 issue) and found a depressing long ride from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos that takes 36-40 hours. The distance is about 2500 km (Google Maps). I am not sure it is a direct line, but wouldn't be surprised if it was.

  • I also wouldn't be surprised if that Argentine connection is direct. It's pretty much par for the course in Latin America. – MastaBaba Sep 22 '15 at 13:25
  • That European bus connection is a good find. Eurolines also used to go to Moscow, but that seems to be discontinued. – MastaBaba Sep 22 '15 at 13:25
  • If you take the bus from Paris to Casablanca, there would presumably be a break in the driving in the middle. – Michael Seifert Sep 22 '15 at 17:07
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    @MichaelSeifert True, but it would still be the same service on the same bus. Nevertheless, this distance is 'only' 2400km. – MastaBaba Sep 23 '15 at 3:21
  • From the German site: Düsseldorf - Istanbul, over 2500 km, 43 hours. – user24582 Sep 28 '15 at 11:33
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Why are you excluding the oz-bus?

While the London - Sydney route breaks your conditions, what about London - Kathmandu?

Regularly scheduled, one vehicle. 47 days. (Note that I have taken two such trips, both with budget operators {necessity--most of them had rules that excluded us.} On schedule?! No way!) And they're back in business.

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    Clever, and one heck of a journey! Though their website seems to have information from 2011-2012 (that's when the last trip dates are listed), so I'm not so sure about "regularly scheduled." I suppose there's also question at some point as to what continues a public bus vs a tour. – Zach Lipton Jan 15 '18 at 6:51
  • @ZachLipton Note that at least in the past there were many companies running such trips. And if you find one and it has a seat you can negotiate with the driver for passage. That's what we did for Delhi -> Tehran (but due to breakdowns we ended up leaving them in Shiraz.) – Loren Pechtel Jan 16 '18 at 5:20

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