« Back to Dictionary Index

A trolleybus, also known as a trolley bus, is a type of public transportation vehicle that runs on electricity and draws power from overhead wires.


  1. Electric Power: Trolleybuses are powered by electricity, which is supplied to the vehicle through a pair of overhead wires.
  2. Overhead Wires: The overhead wires, also known as trolley wires or overhead lines, carry electrical current from a power source to the trolleybus.
  3. Trolley Pole: A trolley pole or trolley arm mounted on the roof of the bus makes contact with the overhead wires, allowing the vehicle to draw power.
  4. Electric Motor: The electricity received from the overhead wires powers an electric motor, which drives the vehicle’s wheels and propels it forward.


  1. Zero Emissions: Trolleybuses are environmentally friendly since they produce zero emissions at the point of use, helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas.
  2. Quiet Operation: Compared to diesel or gasoline-powered buses, trolleybuses operate more quietly since they do not have internal combustion engines.
  3. Efficiency: Trolleybuses are often more energy-efficient than traditional buses, especially when the electricity used to power them comes from renewable sources.
  4. Reliability: Since they run on fixed routes with overhead wires, trolleybuses are not affected by traffic congestion or fuel shortages, making them a reliable mode of transportation.


  1. Overhead Wires: Trolleybuses require an extensive network of overhead wires installed along their routes to supply electricity to the vehicles.
  2. Power Substations: Power substations are located along the trolleybus routes to convert and distribute electricity from the grid to the overhead wires.
  3. Trolleybus Stops: Trolleybus stops are equipped with overhead wire infrastructure to allow vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers while remaining connected to the power source.


  1. Urban Transportation: Trolleybuses are commonly used for public transportation in urban areas, where they provide efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly service to passengers.
  2. Tourist Attractions: In some cities, trolleybuses are used as tourist attractions, offering guided tours of historical or scenic areas while providing passengers with a unique transportation experience.

Trolleybuses are electrically powered public transportation vehicles that draw power from overhead wires. They offer an environmentally friendly, quiet, and efficient mode of transportation for urban commuters and tourists alike, relying on a network of infrastructure to operate effectively. With zero emissions and reliable operation, trolleybuses play a significant role in sustainable urban mobility solutions around the world.

« Back to Dictionary Index