To be a fan is to take interest in public transportation, whether it’s bus transit, rail transit, marine transport, or aviation. To be an avid fan or a dedicated fan is to understand the ins and outs of the transportation industry, from the way systems are formed or managed to the vehicles that carry the riding public.

Some fans simply do a lot of research online and attend many events dealing with transit, while others work in the industry in some capacity as either operators, dispatchers, cleaners, or management. The bottom line is, we love to work or study this industry, which is a demanding but dynamic industry.

Bus & Lorry Fanning at Thrissur – Ernakulam Highway : VLOG

There are some people who take a fondness to one mode of transportation over another, but most fans like multiple modes of transportation. Some fans even love automotive transportation and work in the auto industry while still taking interest in public modes of transportation.

Busfans : There are those that love buses, primarily transit buses and motorcoach buses. Some love both, like myself, while others lean more towards one or the other. There are some that like school buses as well, but they are practically outnumbered by those who are just transit and/or coach fans.

Most busfans gather at major transit centers, Highways and bus stations. Conversations can range from bus models to memorabilia, photos taken, sound effects, bus sightings, bus garage transfers, buses sold or leased to other companies, bus route changes, and operations planning.

In the old days before the Internet, most bus fans (or “enthusiasts”) met through major events. In the modern era, most fans meet on Facebook or bus-related forums.

So why fanning?

Our reasoning is that it’s an interesting hobby, much like gaming, racing, fishing, or sports. The difference is that transportation is something that many take for granted and something that most people would feel is more of a necessity as opposed to a luxury. Most people take public transportation because they need to get somewhere without a car, but driving is for those who have the option to do so.

This is less the case in suburban or rural areas where there is little to no public transit, but in urban areas, people who drive are more often driving because they don’t have to take public transit.

Everyone loves planes and trains, but buses and ferries are less commonly celebrated. Even though people see trains and planes as something they need to take to get where they are going, most people are more comfortable with the speed and reliability of a plane or a train than with buses and ferries. While we do realize we are generalizing these statements, they do have some truth if you look at ridership in train systems versus bus systems and whether people take planes cross-country as opposed to trains.

So how does someone “fan”?

There are many ways that we “fan” and no one person does it quite the same way. There are copycats and followers to older fans, but everyone still has their own style. What unites us together is the interests and the gatherings we go to. Some are planned events by hobbyist groups, some are done by different transit companies, and others are done out of the pure blue. Here are many of the ways people “fan” in the field:

  • Visiting major transit centers, train stations, airport terminals, and ferry terminals
    – Photographing, recording, and taking videos at key locations
    – Understanding transit maps, schedules, and fleet rosters
    – Drawing, painting, and modeling transit vehicles
    – Selling pictures, videos, slides, and replica models
    – Observing vehicles and jotting down/comparing notes about who, what, when, where, why, and how
    – Browsing transit agency and manufacturer websites
    – Attending trade shows and gatherings
    – Owning and/or maintaining vintage vehicles
    – Working in the industry as an operator, mechanic, assistant, cleaner, etc.

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