A bus conductor (also referred to as a conductor or clippie) is a person (other than the driver) responsible for collecting fares from bus passengers. Bus conductors were a common feature of many bus services across Europe until the late 1970s and early 1980s. The main reason two-person crews were needed was that most towns and cities used double-decker buses for urban services. Until the 1960s, all double deck vehicles[United Kingdom-centric] were built with front-mounted engines and a "half-cab" design, such as the AEC Routemaster bus built for London Transport. This layout totally separated the driver from the passenger saloons. The conductor communicated with the driver using a series of bell codes, such as two bells to start (the "ding-ding").
Conductors were also employed on single-deck buses and coaches. In remote areas where these buses served such as in rural Ireland, conductors also had the responsibility of handling mail and passengers' luggage between stops. Some of these buses would therefore be built with dedicated parcel sections or roof racks for the stowage of such items.
Many half-cab double-deckers[where?] were boarded from an open platform at the rear, while others were equipped with a forward entrance and staircase and driver-operated doors. Each case required a conductor to collect fares and, especially on the rear-entrance design, supervise passenger loading and unloading. Some bus services in the late 1960s and early 1970s[where?] experimented with later-model forward entrance half-cab double-deckers—removing the conductor and having the driver sell tickets. The hope was to have the benefits of one-person operation without the cost of replacing vehicles that still had remaining service life. This idea was soon scrapped and the buses reverted to conventional conductor operation.
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