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HistoryBuses started to run on the Isle of Man in 1907, but they did not run regular routes. In 1927, Manxland Bus Services Ltd. began a network of routes. Buses were proving to be the new rival for the Isle of Man Railway Company, which saw two more companies enter the market to compete for passengers. Yet by the start of 1929, all three bus services had been bought out by Isle of Man Railway Company. The off season hardships, meant that the buses could not survive without the tourists.
Mid 1930 saw the official start of Isle of Man Road Services Ltd. as a separate company with buses operating all over the island. Over the next eight years the new bus company continued to add to its fleet bringing its bus numbers to over 70.
There was increased pressure on the Isle of Man Road Services as World War II came and an influx of service personal came to the island. Buses at this time could only seat 28 passengers, but these laws were relaxed to 34 for the duration of the war. In 1946, the company bought its first double decker, but was unable to use all its seats till laws were changed a year later.
In the early 1950's, the company had purchased more than 40 double deckers. The following years saw a boom in tourism, but this drifted off as the early 1960's came and tourists moved to road travel in their cars or trips aboard. Attempts to do coach tours of the island were started in 1968, but passed to a new company by 1972. After many years of service the Isle of Man Road Services Ltd. merged with Douglas Corporation in 1976 to form Isle of Man National Transport Ltd. The future was set and buses were here to stay.
Travelling on the Manx Bus ServiceThe current Isle of Man bus services cover most places on the island. The main depots are in Douglas, Ramsey and Peel, where you can get buses to even remote places such as the Lands End of Mann and Point of Ayre. There are limited services on more remote destinations, but regular services to more populated areas. Bus explorer passes can be bought at travel shops and some tourist offices. The bus driver will accept cash for journeys and can make change. Timetable booklets detailing bus routes and times are available at most tourist offices, travel shops and on some buses. They also can be found in some town shops free of charge. Or you could use our online bus and railway timetables.
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