After lots of hard work and the odd hiccup, the BBC Talking America US election bus has ended its coast to coast tour across America. Project editor Steve Titherington looks back on 39 days on the road.

"The Talking Bus" is how one Hong Kong station referred to us and in many ways it was - broadcasting and blogging every day across 19 separate BBC Networks including 12 World Service languages.

The original purpose of the bus was to give a voice to the huge sways of everyday Americans from across 16 states whose opinions don't always get heard.

It enabled us to meet and talk to hundreds and hundreds of Americans, including three state governors, four mayors, ten bikers, three hockey mums, two Wall Street traders and practically every citizen in the small New Mexican town of Truth or Consequences (which is named after a TV quiz show).

We also turned a school into a debating chamber, a bar into a political forum, and a kitchen into an election rally.

Just about everything worked to plan, although I am not sure if we always managed to synchronise the TV, online and radio as closely as we could.

As we neared the end I was asked by Radio 4's Feedback programme whether it was worth the money and the effort?

Without a doubt it was. By pooling together the money we could do something which individual departments could not. But it was complicated.

We had three separate teams to do the different stages of the journey and many others came for shorter stages. Only four team members made he whole journey: bloggers Jon Kelly and Jennifer Copestake; Bo the driver and World Service producer Chloe Hadjmatheou, who managed to turn planning ideas into real people with great stories to tell at every stop, and handle the ever-changing personnel on board.

And what did we learn? Putting content online as we went along gave us real advantages in dealing with the public, but it did take away some of the element of surprise. I was briefing would-be contributors at a church in Phoenix, outlining the types of questions we'd be asking, when one worshipper told me not to worry - he'd already looked at the website.

Finally, the bus has been front page news in many towns, and there is definitely something profoundly different between someone emailing you their thoughts and have them come and tell you.

Reports and further information about the BBC US08 Election bus tour can be found at