limited liability

Condition under which the loss that an owner (shareholder) of a business may incur is limited to the capital invested in the business and does not extend to personal assets. The forerunners of limited-liability companies were limited partnerships, which were common in Europe and the U.S. in the 18th and early 19th centuries. In limited partnerships, one partner is entirely liable for losses and the other partners are liable only for the amounts they invested in the business. After the Joint-Stock Companies Act (1844) in England made incorporation easier, joint-stock companies with limited liability for all members became widespread. The development of the limited-liability company was crucial to the rise of large-scale industry in the late 19th and 20th centuries, since it enabled businesses to mobilize capital from a variety of investors who were unwilling to risk their entire personal fortunes in their investments. Seealso risk.

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Limited-stop bus, tram or train services omit calls at certain stops in order to offer a faster trip between the places served. The term is normally used on routes with a mixture of fast and slow services. Additionally there may be a "semi-fast" service with more stops than a "fast" service, but fewer than a "slow" service.

On railways, the layout of the tracks and number/length of platforms at stations will normally limit the extent to which a blend of fast/semi-fast/slow services can be operated.

In a typical metropolitan area limited-stop services are most likely to be scheduled at times when more people are travelling, not limited to the Rush Hour. Leisure and shopping trips tend to be more localised and geographically varied, thus requiring and responding to slower services calling at most stops along the route.

In heavily congested traffic conditions a bus scheduled as fast or semi-fast may not always achieve an appreciably faster journey than a stopping service along the same route, unless there are special bus lanes.

Sometimes a higher (premium) fare may be required for the faster journey, especially for some international trains in western Europe.

In Australia, particularly in Brisbane and Sydney, limited stop services are formed by commuter trains which run as limited stops or express services from the city centre to the edge of the suburban area and then as all stops in the interurban area. Same is done in Helsinki, Finland by VR commuter rail.

Terminology for Dutch railways:

  • fast: intercity
  • semi-fast: sneltrein
  • slow: stoptrein

See also

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