One of the earliest methods of mass transit came in the form of large horse-drawn coaches, which were introduced in Paris in 1828. This popular mode of transportation, called an Omnibus, carried as many as 18 passengers and, starting at seven in the morning, ran twelve hours a day. In the early years of the service there were no designated stops – riders signalled to the driver when they wanted to disembark. By the middle of that century, numerous Omnibus companies were competing for customers. In order to distinguish themselves from one another they branded their vehicles using colour. One could ride in the white Omnibuses of the Dames Blanches line, the green Parisiennes, the yellow Hirondelles, or in the tartan-bedecked Ecossaises (Scottish) line. These effective and much-needed people movers were eventually merged into a single company which was owned and operated by the city of Paris.
The Omnibus established the use of bright, highly visible colours to help brand the service and make vehicles easy to identify – a tradition employed, to this day, by taxi cab companies throughout the world.