Is China’s ‘straddling bus’ the next stage in city planning?

3 Aug 201631 Shares

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The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) has been revealed in China, via www.news.cn

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China has revealed its ‘straddling bus’, which aims to achieve a new way to alleviate traffic congestion while satisfying public transport demands.

Capable of carrying 300 people in a 25ft-wide and 72ft-long creation, the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is designed to allow standard cars to drive beneath it.

Mounted on tracks on either side of the road, the theory is it can remove many standard bus obstacles from the road, with bus stops even elevated and away from standard traffic.

China straddling bus

Its ceiling is a full two metres above the ground and, at two lanes wide, it could prove beneficial should a city go the whole hog and install its required tracks all over its road network.

Powered by electricity, the bus has been in the works for quite some time, with a prototype a few months ago drawing significant global interest.

However, now, China’s Hebei province is home to the first working model, which has a capacity one-quarter the size of earlier claims.

“It works like the subway, but its cost of construction is less than one-fifth of the subway,” said Bai Zhiming, engineer in charge of the TEB project, earlier this year. “Its construction can be completed in one year.”

The makers claim one single TEB could replace dozens of buses, though how such an infrastructure-heavy plan could work on a wide scale remains to be seen.

The trials this week are testing drag and energy consumption, with the design of the buses such that they can add modular sections to increase capacity.

Videos and images from the launch are available here.

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com