I understand that a different verb of motion is used for a bus, tram, train than for a car, lorry, van. e.g.автобус ходит, машина ездит

Is this correct and, if so, why? Then, if I get on the bus автобус ходит а я еду. I'm confused.

  • Think of the fixed schedule of a bus route (or any public transport, except airplane) - use ходит. If it's a physically moving bus - it's едет, ездит.
    – alexsms
    Feb 15 '18 at 13:54

Not quite. Автобус едет if all you mean is that it's in motion.

Автобус ходит — as does all other non-airborne public transport, including passenger ships — in relation to its route or destination.

Thus you say,

Из Москвы в Балашиху ходит электричка

— meaning you can get to Balashikha from Moscow by commuter train. But:

Вот едет электричка из Москвы в Балашиху

— of an actual train passing by, or of a hypothetical but specific train.

  • For a plane, is it always самолёт
    – Bob Daley
    Feb 15 '18 at 14:22
  • For a plane, is it always самолёт едет or maybe самолёт летит never самолёт идёт
    – Bob Daley
    Feb 15 '18 at 14:31
  • 1
    Самолет летит, not идет.
    – V.V.
    Feb 15 '18 at 17:14
  • For a plane, you can use летает for "there is a regular flight" and летит for a plane currently flying
    – Alissa
    Feb 19 '18 at 12:46

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