AskDefine | Define layover

Dictionary Definition

layover n : a brief stay in the course of a journey; "they made a stopover to visit their friends" [syn: stop, stopover]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A pause in a journey.
    We had a layover while waiting to change planes, so we stretched our legs.


Extensive Definition

In transportation, a layover or lay over is some form of a break between trips of parts of a single trip

In mass transit

A layover for a mass transit line refers to the break the driver or the vehicle is given at the end of a trip before it starts operating its reverse route, or if the route is circular, before beginning its next trip. The layover has several benefits. These include:
  • If the service has arrived at the final point is behind its scheduled time, this allows for make-up time prior to starting the next trip, and therefore, better schedule adherence on the route.
  • Allows for the operator of the vehicle to have a break without disrupting the service. If a shift change is necessary, this also can be done here without disrupting the service.
  • In some cases, may allow for the vehicle being used to undergo a safety inspection.
The typical layover for a public bus line may be:
  • A bus stop along the street in a location where the vehicle's presence will not be disruptive to the flow of traffic.
  • An apartment complex or other similar development.
  • A mall or shopping center parking lot or similar facility.
  • A well-known landmark, such as a hospital, college or university, or a government facility.
  • A commuter rail station or a park-and-ride lot.
Sometimes, such a location may serve as a layover for more than one bus line. Many cities have specified locations, known as hubs, which serve as a layover point for several routes. In many cases, the layover point for one route may simply be an intermediate stop for another, where riders can transfer.

In long-distance travel

A layover in long-distance travel by plane, train, or inter-city bus can refer to a break that a passenger must take between vehicles in a multi-vehicle trip. It refers to the time that is spent at a terminal after departing one vehicle and waiting to board the next. Many inter-city and international travelers face layovers during their journeys.
As in mass transit, the term layover is also applicable in long-distance travel for breaks taken by operators. A vehicle is said to be laying over after it finishes its route and is waiting prior to a return trip, or else it is taking a break to change crews or for the crew to rest.
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