TRANSPORT IN COSTA RICA; Page 1 - BUSES


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Last updated 31 December 2016

School buses in USA are retired at 10 years or 150,000 miles and put up for auction. Many are then bought by new owners in Central America and driven through Mexico to Guatemala, Nicaragua or Panama, where they are given a new lease of life as hard-working service buses. This is an example of one that is now in Costa Rica, a Blue Bird operating in the capital, San Jose.

These two pages review some of the transport items of interest that caught my eye during a great trip to Costa Rica in March and April 2014.

See also Page 2 about glorious trucks and other forms of transport in Costa Rica.


There are a lot of boring Volvos, Mercs and Isuzus in Costa Rica, but I thought you'd be more interested to see things that are specific to the country, that you might not see elsewhere, or that surprised me. So let's start with a couple more of those school buses.

Here's another Blue Bird in the north of the country near the Nicaraguan border.

And here's the back of it. Santa Fe, by the way, is a place in Costa Rica, not the US one.
Blue Bird Corporation has been making buses in Fort Valley, Georgia since 1927.

A lot of drivers take their buses (or trucks) home for lunch, or overnight, and here's one at someone's house. It looks like a fairly modern GM, but wears the inscription "Thomas" over the front windows. Thomas Built Buses Inc is based in North Carolina and can trace its origins back even further than Blue Bird - to 1916. They are now a division of Freightliner trucks, and build bodies on a wide range of chassis, specialising in school buses.

Above is another Thomas. I've no idea what the chassis is on this one, but it certainly looks smart.
That's it for the recycled school buses; the next surprise was to find that the Chinese have arrived.

Above is a Chinese Yutong working for Transcesa S.A. in San Jose.
That "15" on the side is a fleet number and I think there were around 20 of these.

Also in San Jose, this is a Higer, another Chinese manufacturer making inroads into Latin America. I also saw some Golden Dragon and King Long buses, along with a rare Chinese Bonluck coach - I never managed to see a Bonluck when I was in China!

The next surprise was that Volkswagen make buses! I had no idea.
Here's a "Volksbus" passing the cathedral in San Jose.

And above is another Volkbus in San Jose with a Marcopolo body.

Next let's look at the many versions of Daewoo to be seen in Costa Rica.

Above is one working for Transcesa S.A. with San Jose Cathedral as a backdrop.

And here's another Daewoo, working for the same company but in a different livery.

And here's another variation.

This is a Daewoo running to Tres Rios (Three Rivers), about 12km east of San Jose.

Now here's something you don't see in UK. Parades Metalworkers (known as Metalpar) is a Chilean bus manufacturer.
Their Petrohue Ecologico gas-powered model introduced in 1993 is a chassis based on clean technology. Marcopolo of Brazil owns 50% of the company.

Talking of Marcopolo, here is a Scania tourist coach with a Marcopolo body in southern San Jose.

Continuing the Brazilian theme, this is a rural Busscar, running up to Tilaran near the Nicaraguan border. Busscar went bust in 2012.

Another Brazilian company is Caio, a bodywork manufacturer formed in 1946 and based in Sao Paolo.
This is a Caio bus body on a Mercedes chassis operating in southern San Jose, passing the new Chinese-funded sports stadium.

Finally yet another Brazilian bus manufacturer is Comil Onibus.
Busetas Heredianas runs a service with Comil buses on the 35-minute service north from San Jose to the suburb of Heredia.

If you can add more details to the pictures on this page, I'd be delighted to hear from you.


See also Page 2 about glorious trucks and other forms of transport in Costa Rica.


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