World’s Largest Bus – Youngman JNP6250G – 300 Persons

Post by Gondola Project

Youngman JNP6250G - world's largest bus in terms of capacity. 300 passengers.

In recent news, various news media outlets (1,2,3) have reported that we’re about to see the world’s largest bus – Youngman JNP6250G in China. The official statistical breakdown of this public transit behemoth is as follows:

  • 300 person capacity (40 seats, 260 standing)
  • 25 meters (standard bus: 12m)
  • top speed ~80kph
Of course, as soon as this news story went online, the classic age old debate of “my bus is bigger than your bus” soon emerged. The Brazilians and Swiss have chimed in and proved that their bi-articulated buses are similar in length if not longer than their Chinese competitors (Switzerland: 24.7m and Brazil: 28m). Despite such similar bus sizes, the Chinese bus somehow beats their challengers in terms of maximum capacity (300 persons vs the 128 person capacity in Switzerland and 250 person capacity in Brazil). My initial guess for this discrepancy is that loading standards vary dramatically country by country.

28m bi-articulated bus in Curitiba. Image by Chinadaily.

Nevertheless, given the enormous capacity of these buses, it appears that it begins to challenge those coveted numbers seen in LRT systems. Let’s do a quick comparison:
  • Melbourne’s Bombardier Flexity Swift LRV: 150 
  • Minneapolis’ Bombardier Flexity Swift LR: 180
  • Calgary Siemens SD160NG: 226
If we directly compared these figures, the Youngman bus holds up to 2x the number of passengers in the Melbourne LRVs. 


So I understand that capacity is not the only thing important in building better and faster rapid transit networks. However, since we’re now able to manufacture such large functional modern buses and assuming building BRT infrastructure is more cost-effective than LRT, what’s preventing us from pursuing such transit initiatives in North America? Aesthetics? Comfort? Pride? Environmental concerns?

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  1. Matt the Engineer
    BRT is not the same as real transit. Trust me - I was recently in Jakarta, with their real BRT system, and it was awful. To really do BRT well you need grade-separated roads built specifically to serve high-volume destinations. At that point you've spent 95% of the money for rail - everything but the tracks. Why not go all the way?
  2. Not necessary, some cities have taken away existing road space for full ROW Bus Rapid Transit i.e. Curitiba, Bogota, Lagos. Those cities and others have had outstanding successes on all sustainability fronts. If the road space is available, it is just a matter of poaching a lane one or two from the automobile. That is not so expensive in terms of per km cost. I acknowledge that this approach is not politically feasible in some countries.
  3. What really change the performance is not just a dedicated ROW, but the crossings and intersections. Even for tramway lines in well-ruled cities like Germany ones the REAL avg speed (and thus pphpd) is only 80% more of a common bus and still less than half of a Metro/LRT. Synchronization of traffic lights works well ...until something happens (a crash, a breakdown, works, queues... and when it happens could disrupt totally the service. So to really perform you got to have a totally dedicated ROW with all the connected costs of over/underpasses BTW , if we take this chinese loading standard we could as well multiply the load at least by 2.5 on any ropeway ...
  4. Good points although I've never ridden on the Jakarta BRT. I assume this would also apply to an LRT or any surface rail system. So in essence, any technology - regardless of bus, rail, etc. - is not rapid transit until it operates in a full ROW (no at grade crossings or intersections).
  5. Agree with you wholeheartedly. I think there are many successful BRT systems in the world. i.e. Guangzhou, China's BRT serves 1,000,000 per day and has headways of under a minute, if not seconds. If properly utilized, a bus this large could have the ability to relieve congestion on heavily travelled corridors.
  6. It'd be interesting to see how a technology's maximum capacity or pphpd could increase/decrease based on a transit agency's loading standards...or even analyze how loading standards differ from one place to another. I could be wrong, but I wonder if this could potentially alter the cost performance package of a transit technology.
  7. There's many reasons why not to use these buses. No one even knows their reliability! A common problem in many transit agencies is that articulated buses often break down and experience many operational failures. Another major reason for choosing rail over buses is that maintenance costs tend to be lower and vehicle life cycle is longer. Therefore, despite initial lower costs for buses, total costs amortized over long periods of time, let's say 30 years, indicate that rail is the way to go.
  8. Matt the Engineer
    Here's my write-up on Jakarta BRT. It's not good enough to just use roads. Even building stations and concrete barriers and giving signal priority doesn't get you there. Major roads don't generally go to pedestrian areas, for one, so you're dropped off on a highway.
  9. I was in Jakarta last year, and I think its BRT is excellent. It's dirt cheap, very affordable even for low income Indonesians, and has a wide network (it's the largest system in the world). I guess we need to see the system from locals point of view, not from ours, since the system is built for them. Of course it's far from perfect. Don't expect it to be as good as Parisian metro I use everyday. But again, it's cheap, even by Indonesian standard. This is more important than what tourists or expats think of it.
  10. Matt the Engineer
    Cheap isn't all that's important. Delhi's subway is far, far more functional and they're able to run it at $0.15 minimum fares.
  11. Not important for you but important for them. Delhi metro isn't that cheap for a country with GDP/capita only $1,300. On the contrary, TransJakarta is like Parisian metro which applies similar fare for all distance, just cheaper. That's why we can see middle class and the poor alike ride TransJakarta. It doesn't the case with Delhi metro where you can find mostly middle class. You should change your perspective, IMHO, not looking at public transport from your position as a tourist or expat.
  12. Matt the Engineer
    We're talking about moving millions of people around. My trip was late-morning, and we were crammed in like sardines and the road was at capacity with buses. They simply need a transit system with more capacity, and BRT doesn't cut it. Oh, Jakarta's BRT is $0.22/ride, which is more than Delhi's minimum fare. Subsidy may be coming in to play, but rail doesn't have to be expensive. Especially when you're spreading the cost over a dozen million people.
  13. Matt the Engineer
    Delhi subway daily ridership: 1.8 Million. Jakarta BRT daily ridership: 0.3 Million. Delhi metro population: 16 Million. Jakarta metro population: 28 Million. And it's not that Jakarta residents can't afford rail. Delhi per capita income is under $1,500, whereas Jakarta per capita income is around $3,000. Jakarta BRT was a terrible idea.
  14. Very interesting solution.

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