Alex Corvadt – Tech Crunch
Grid-lock and traffic remain a key concern for the Chinese government, especially in Beijing where smog and pollution take a heavy toll on productivity and health.
Combating the issue has taken outside thinking, one of which wowed urban planners around the world during its announcement in 2010. Rather than more under-ground subways or overhead rails, the Chinese are pioneering a novel method that is projected to be far more cost-effective, and allow urban planners to integrate it effectively with infrastructure that already exists.
Less infrastructure, more space
Affectionately dubbed the ‘straddling bus’ by locals, engineers have constructed a vehicle that would allow regular traffic to pass beneath the ‘bus’ with space for more than 300 passengers in each carriage. The vehicle’s official name is the Transit Elevated Bus, or TEB, and each carriage is 22 metres long and the width of two lanes.
During interviews with Chinese media, Chief engineer Song Youzhou told reporters that he believed the TEB may eventually reduce traffic by up to 30%. The vehicle is powered by electricity, meaning that for every bus that it may replace in the future, it could save more than 800 tonnes of fuel.
The bus is currently undergoing its road tests in Qunhuangdao, Heibei province. Currently, the company has orders from five major cities across China – Nanyang, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Shenyang, Tianjin and Zhoukou. The company remains hopeful that if the trials are successful, it may eventually see a national roll-out of the TEB, and maybe one day an International one.
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