Enormous ‘Straddling Bus’ makes road debut
IT looks like something out of H G Wells’ imagining, but the straddling bus concept – which sits above cars on the road – took a further move forward with the inaugural test in Hebei province, China, this week.
The 2m-high Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) straddles the cars below, allowing them to pass through – it’s designed to reduce congestion and reduce pollution.
Meanwhile, above deck
Powered by electricity, the bus is able to carry up to 300 passengers in its 72ft (21m) long and 25ft wide body in what looks like a hugely spacious tube train carriage.
The trial run was conducted on a 300m-long controlled track in the north-eastern city of Qinhuangdao.
The vehicle is expected to reach speeds of up to 60km per hour, running on rails laid along ordinary roads. Up to four TEBs can be linked together.
The TEB project’s chief engineer, Song Youzhou, explained to state-media agency Xinhua earlier this year: “The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space.”
“The TEB has the same functions as the subway, while its cost of construction is less than one fifth of the subway,” another engineer Bai Zhiming told news outlet CCTV.
The company in charge of the TEB project believes one TEB could replace 40 conventional buses.
We like the idea – even though there could be trouble overhead…