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A night bus operated by Kowloon Motor Bus in Hong Kong
A night bus operated by Kowloon Motor Bus in Hong Kong

Night service, sometimes also known as owl service, refers to the public transport services operated during the night hours. These services are operated, mainly using buses but in certain cases using trams (or streetcars), not including intercity bus service, inter-city rail or flight that run through[clarification needed] midnight, either in addition to or in substitution for ordinary daytime services or rapid transit rail services which may shut for maintenance or due to lack of passenger volumes at night in many cities worldwide.

Night-based services may be differently branded compared to daytime services. Examples are London and Chicago, where overnight buses are prefixed with an "N" for "night". Another common way to distinguish night services from their daytime counterparts is dark-colored line numbers. Some cities apply a different fare structure for night services from their daytime services.

Characteristics

A tram operating a night route in Prague
A tram operating a night route in Prague

24-hour, continuous rapid transit operation is practiced in some cities, most notably the subway in New York City, which essentially renders night services unneeded. Many of New York City's buses also have 24-hour operation; and around the world, night services may be provided by virtue of 24-hour services on daytime routes, as does Berlin on its "Metrotram" routes.

Where it exists, night service is generally much more limited in geographic coverage than daytime services, with fewer lines and perhaps routes over different paths from daytime services; routes serving more stops than during the daytime; or the night terminus may be in a different place. Networks may run longer routes than daytime services, sometimes combining two or more daytime routes, which may use interchanges to reach the same outlying districts. Night services usually also run less frequently. For example, according to the New York City Transit Authority's Service Guidelines Manual, New York City buses are required to operate at least every 30 minutes all times except late nights. Local bus frequencies during late night times (defined as 1 a.m. – 5 a.m.) are required to operate at least every 60 minutes.[1]

Because of much longer intervals between services than during the day, night routes often offer guaranteed transfers to other lines or transit modes (such as regional and intercity rail). To ease planning, many cities use a central hub where all lines converge at a specific time. This makes the line map of many night services look like a wheel with radial lines to the center and some additional lines connecting the outer ends (or running along a ring road outside of the city center). For example, many London night bus routes converge on Trafalgar Square.

Africa

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2021)

Asia

China

Overnight bus route 夜27 of Beijing Bus, running from Tongzhou to Dabeiyao
Overnight bus route 27 of Beijing Bus, running from Tongzhou to Dabeiyao

India

South Korea

Europe

Belgium

Bulgaria

Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Lithuania

Norway

The Netherlands

National Rail

Regional public transport

Poland

Portugal

Slovakia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom and Crown dependencies

Oceania

Australia

New Zealand

North America

Canada

United States

Mexico

South America

Brazil

Argentina

In popular culture

References

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