Last May, abuzz from China, an elevated bus that runs above traffic was the hot topic of netizens and pictures of the model bus surfaced around online. This wacky concept freaked out many of us, including me. China came out with this idea to battle against its congested traffic problems, but it ends up with mixed reviews from people.
China, finally, built one, a large straddling bus that can let cars drive under it while skipping over congested traffic while carrying hundreds of passengers a pop. This “Transit Elevated Bus” or “TEB”, made its first test run today in the northeastern city of Qinhuangdao, in the Hebei province.
The so-called straddled bus can manage up to 300 passengers, and it is over 72 feet long and 25 feet wide. It’s about 16 feet tall, and that provides 7 feet of space underneath for the cars to travel. The cars less than 2 meters tall will be able to drive through.
It rides along the rail tracks embed on the sides of the road, running on 16 tired wheels along with eight pairs of rail wheels. According to the insights of the bus that revealed back in May, it should be reaching 50km/h as it top speed, but the test one is comparatively slower. The vehicle did a short 300-meter test run.
Song Youzhou, the designer of the bus, says prototypes are being constructed, and that five cities — Nanyang, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Tianjin and Zhoukou — have signed contracts with his TEB Technology Development Company for pilot projects. If everything goes as planned, it will be only a year to a year and a half for the bus to be revealed for public transport. The bus was originally debuted six years ago.
There are many questions raised about its safety features, how it can handle bent roads, bridges, traffic lights, and crosswalks. Given that the prototype covered a short distance run without any hurdles in the path, we have to wait for a few more months for all our questions to be answered.