The Bus is a bus that has been featured in almost every game in the Grand Theft Auto series in various forms, including:
- Grand Theft Auto 1
- Grand Theft Auto 2
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
Despite the Grand Theft Auto games being set in large, bustling urban environments with public transport infrastructure, the Bus is one of the series' rarest vehicles. The Bus rarely spawns on the street and is usually very difficult to find by other means too.
GTA 1 — GTA 2
In GTA 1, the Bus is based on a typical school bus and has no special features. There are three versions; in Liberty City it is a school bus, in San Andreas it appears to be a church bus, and in Vice City it appears to be either a high school bus or a bus for some kind of sports team; the latter two are not spawned in traffic.
In GTA 2, the Bus resembles a futuristic version of a typical municipal bus and can be found picking up/dropping off passengers at various bus stops within each of the three districts. The Bus only drives on the outer lane of the 'main' roads. Even if the player steals the bus, passengers will still enter/exit if the player stops at a bus stop.
GTA III — GTA Liberty City Stories
In GTA III, GTA Vice City, and GTA Liberty City Stories the Bus retains the "school bus" design featured in GTA 1, and comes in several colors. The design is very generic and takes styling from a wide range of decades, the hood's shape resembles an 1980s International Harvester S-Series; its slanted side windows may be inspired by the old GM New Look Bus or Flxible New Look bus; the rear is rounded similar to most '40s and '50s bus designs.
In GTA San Andreas the bus takes on a different appearance, resembling an ordinary city bus. It can carry up to eight people including the driver. It appears to be based on an MCI MC-8 or MC-9.
GTA IV — GTA Chinatown Wars
In GTA IV, the Brute Bus resembles an Orion V CNG (with an evenly angled windshield). Its slanted side windows resemble those of the old GM New Look Bus or the Flxible New Look bus, although they are more modern in style. Strangely, the Bus only allows 4 passengers (in addition to the driver) to travel in the vehicle although, as there is no occasion for this in GTA IV's story, it is only possible during multiplayer. The buses, which fall under the management of Liberty City Transport Authority (LTA), are further stamped with "The Fox" labels, in line with the LTA's association of the Liberty City's tramway with another animal ("The Pigeon").
The Bus remains a rare sight in the city. Despite the presence of several bus stops around the city, the Bus is commonly seen only on the roads near Francis International Airport, and parked in Star Junction. The Bus will sometimes appear during GTA IV's mission chase sequences as part of set pieces, acting as an obstacle to increase the difficulty of the mission (see, for example, Brucie's mission Search and Delete).
The Bus finds its own perfect purpose during GTA Races set in Star Junction. The Bus can easily block off a path while a novice picks off cars, driver by driver, resulting in everyone switching to Faggios, which provide no cover whatsoever for the rider and cannot move buses at all, but are nimble enough to move around buses.
GTA III — GTA Liberty City Stories
The Bus' handling is slow and cumbersome, as one would expect, and the vehicle, although fairly tough, cannot readily knock other vehicles aside in the manner of the Fire Truck, Barracks OL, or the Flatbed. It is also more vulnerable to bullet damage than most vehicles of its size. Despite its large size it can only carry a driver and one passenger. All of these factors combine to make the Bus a generally undesirable vehicle.
GTA IV — GTA Chinatown Wars
For GTA IV, handling is below average, with the bus easily understeering around corners. Top speed is however somewhat excellent thanks in part to it's 5-litre engine, but is let down by poor acceleration which is one of the worst in the game. The bus has a soft suspension tune making the bus somewhat comfortable, especially at low speeds. The bus is let down again by its poor brakes which tend to lock up easily, and when they do, stopping distance is increased, giving the bus a poor stopping distance.
Due to its rear-engined configuration, the Bus can survive seemingly endless head-on crashes with cars, trucks, and buildings alike. This makes it the perfect vehicle for ramming cars out of one's path. Like previous renditions of the Bus, however, it is particularly vulnerable to gunfire.
Performance of the Bus in GTA Chinatown Wars is no different, with the bus capable of only low top speeds, average acceleration, very wide turning radius' and poor brakes, making the bus impractical for demanding uses.
- The Bus plays the following radio stations by default when entered:
- A label on the rear of the Bus in GTA IV comically reads that "this bus uses no technology", parodying labels on New York City buses that read "this bus uses clean-air technology".
- The Bus is driven around Broker, on Delaware Ave, in the mission Bleed Out, making it harder to catch Dardan Petrela.
- There is actually a "Bus Driver" character model in the GTA IV game files. This suggests that buses were going to be used as a way of transportation around the city, but that this feature was later cut from the final game for unknown reasons.
- As with several other vehicles capable of laying sideways, if one flips the bus onto its left hand side and begins to reverse whilst turning slightly to the left the bus will begin to rotate at very high speeds. If one points the left stick towards the bottom and still to the left the bus will rotate in the opposite direction. Another vehicle that is capable of this would be the Mule.
- There is a specific mod made for the Bus that makes it capable of launching backed up traffic aside. As can be seen in video.
- In GTA IV, the passengers are actually shown walking and taking a seat inside the bus, since the windows aren't tinted or opaque.
- There is always a bus available in Star Junction and if you steal the bus, you will be wanted by the police.
- In GTA: Vice City it is actually possible to play "bus driver" and earn money. The player simpl needs to know where each station is at. For every station reached and stopped, the player gets $5.
- Chinatown, Portland Island
- Aspatria, Staunton Island
- The Bus also appears during the Firefighter side mission in GTA III on Portland Island
GTA Vice City
- Viceport near a sea plane hangar
GTA San Andreas
- Ocean Docks, Los Santos
- Can be seen driving around in early morning(around 5 am to 8 am) at Los Santos International Airport.
- Rarely seen around the Easter Bay International Airport.
- Rarely seen around Garver Bridge In the morning.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- The bus does not appear under any normal circumstances, and, as a result, can only be spawned using third party cheat devices.
- At the Broker Bus Depot in Downtown Broker under the Algonquin-Dukes Expressway.
- Can occasionally be seen driving along the unnamed ring road at Francis International Airport in Dukes, and can often be seen driving around the Airport complex, just south of the Runways.
- Several parked in Star Junction, Algonquin, Liberty City.
- Along the Bus Lane adjacent to the Higgins Helitours in Fishmarket South, Algonquin. Also, one is parked along Privateer Road, and many can be seen parked along Flatfish Plaice.
GTA Chinatown Wars