It looks like a cross between an oversized train and a transformer but this is actually the Transit Elevated Bus that China hopes will hold the answer to its crazy traffic jams. The vehicle will have passengers riding above the traffic below with stops placed along the route in a similar system to the subway — except apparently cheaper.
A scale model of the bus was unveiled just days ago at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, and it certainly attracted some attention. While the cost was not made clear, the engineer in charge of the Teb project said he believed it would solve major congestion issues across the country. Bai Zhiming told China&’s Central Television network, CCTV News, “With a carrying capacity of 1,200 people at a time, the Teb has the same functions as the subway while its cost of construction is less than one fifth of the subway. Its construction can be finished in one year.”
The current design envisages a bus that is 25 feet wide, 15 feet) high and 104 feet long. Which makes it high enough to glide over the top of cars, allowing traffic to pass underneath while increasing road space. An elevator would allow passengers to board from street level, similar to an above ground train system. It is understood that the authorities are looking to do a trial run in Hebei&’s Qinhuangdao city in the second half of this year.
This is not the first time that such an idea has come to light. In 2010, bus designer Youzhou Song unveiled his idea to help ease China&’s traffic woes.
At the time, Beijing revealed it intended to build around 10 km of track but it never came to fruition according to City Lab.
However, this time Xinhua news agency confirmed that Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus was building a life-size model in Changzhou and planned to begin tests in a few months.
While the concept may appear revolutionary to its creators or unviable to cynics, the video has attracted hundreds of thousands of shares since being shared on automotive news site Autoblog days ago. Many people remained cautious that the idea would work at all and doubted it would do anything to solve traffic issues.
Mason Masonn wrote, “Baaaaaad idea. I KNOW accidents will occur within three hours from this happening, simply due to those people not paying attention and going off lane because texting or whatever other reason. It&’s an amazing concept and all, but it is a bad idea with how some people drive.”
Others commented that it would only increase accidents and questioned how safe it would really be. JJ Parham posted, “At first glance, I thought the concept was for the bus to actually pick up multiple cars with passengers in them, but this just seems like a bad idea… what about semi trucks and cargo vehicles that would be too tall for this bus to pass over?”
Whether it will work or not remains to be seen, but some thought the idea would pan out. Kirby McDonald posted, “This is a concept… not the actual thing. What&’s with all the negativity? Yeah, it&’s not perfect but it can be improved. But this is a good concept when it comes to high population density traffic areas/regions.”
China is renowned for its insane heavy traffic jams and for having a massive amount of cars on its roads. Last year thousands of motorists were left stranded on a 50-lane Chinese motorway during a long weekend traffic jam.
Photos of the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway showed hundreds of thousands of drivers making their way home at the end of a week-long national holiday. An estimated 750 million people went on holiday during Golden Week, the seven-day holiday marking the country&’s National Day on 1 October, with several thousand stuck on this major route alone.