Ariel Schwartz

China Developing Traffic-Straddling Bus That Drives Over Cars

by , 08/03/10
filed under: Green Transportation

sustainable transportation, straddling bus, china, shenzhen, public transportation, green design

We’re all for creative public transportation, but this scheme from Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co. may go a little too far. The so-called Straddling Bus looks kind of like an above-ground subway — except for the part where regular cars go under the subway cars.

sustainable transportation, straddling bus, china, shenzhen, public transportation, green design

The system, unveiled at the Beijing International High-tech Expo in May, consists of a 4 to 4.5 meter-high subway car with passenger boarding on the upper level and a hollow shell on the lower level for vehicles to pass through.

Shenzhen Hashi spouts off some impressive statistics for the system: capacity for 1200 to 1400 passengers, reduction in traffic jams by 20% to 30%, and cheap building costs (10% of the cost of a traditional subway). But we have to wonder about the safety of this thing. Would you really feel comfortable driving under a bus?

Chinese residents won’t have a choice — Beijing’s Mentougou District is already planning a pilot project for the system.

Via Engadget

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11 Comments

  1. anniieliin September 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

    They could have it hover over carpool lanes where there is limited traffic between switching lanes to begin with. Drivers will have an option to go into the carpool lane or stay out of. I can’t help but to imagine the bus not braking in time when there is an accident in the front though..

  2. Emilie April 14, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Who here is really familiar with;
    1/China’s will and power to build
    2/Chinese (empty) lands and urban planning possibilities
    3/Civil engineering (I am not a civil engineer either though).

    How weird was it to build highways at first (“what if we have to make a quick turn but there is no exit exactly where I want to get out?”-???) and tunnels, and bridges over your heads, and planes (“A bus this size could pose a serious threat should anything go wrong”, “I would think it would be very distracting for the drivers underneath however – downright dangerous even”-??????).

    Mrs Schwartz, why?
    “…but this scheme from Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co. may go a little too far.”>Why it is going too far.
    “Would you really feel comfortable driving under a bus?”>Are you uncomfortable when you drive into a tunnel that carries mountains or pass underneath a bridge that carries a subway car?
    “Chinese residents won’t have a choice…”>I guess you have a choice when your city urban planning plans a new metro or a new trainstation? Pretty amazing, then I am curious to know which city are you living in.

  3. Paradeoxy December 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    What if this has to make a sharp turn while cars are underneath it? It’s just take out everything beneath it!

  4. Insane Traffic-Straddli... October 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    [...] that odd-looking straddling bus that we covered a few months ago? The lane-straddling monstrosity might soon be headed to the U.S. [...]

  5. Mason Hicks August 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

    The Chinese are notorious for quoting cost figures on projects or wild schemes which have nothing to do with reality. 10% of subway cost? No way… Nor could it possibly provide neither the capacity nor the rapidity of subway (heavy rail) service. There’s no way that it could provide real cost or operational savings over light-rail transit. All of the stations, serving this contraptions would have to be elevated, multi-level structures. It would be quite entertaining trying to watch them trying to convince any state DOT to approve this contraption for operation on the roadways. The access scheme displayed here is really weird and unnecessary.
    It is just another example of how Inhabit will publish anything. Properly vetting a story idea or raising pertinent questions is just not their style . If you were to paint a green stripe on a Hummer, they would certainly publish it as an eco-solution.

  6. JFS August 4, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Interesting, but a problem may arise: if you want this bus drives on road open for trucks, you have to get a clearance high enough to let a truck passing under the bus (let say about 4 m…). Hence the bus must be high enough (4 m clearance plus passengers and driver room, let’s say 2 m). But the “classical” roads are designed with bridges crossing over, at about 4.5 m above. You’ll have to modify every crossing bridges for these new buses!

  7. Green World August 4, 2010 at 2:13 am

    You can quite plainly see that it is on a rail rather like a train than a bus. I think it is a clever solution to urban congestion and commuter woes.

  8. xenosilvano August 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    so this thing is flexible? please tell me they’re gonna have to rewrite the traffic code for this.

  9. gregb August 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    A hundred years ago there was a ride at Coney Island where one rail car would ride over the top of the other rail car, on roof mounted tracks. Called the “Leap Frog” railway, here is a bit of info from [www.westland.net/coneyisland/articles/dreamland.htm](there are also a few images of the railway on the web):

    “Dreamland’s Leap Frog Railroad, built out on a special 400 foot long pier jutting into the sea, was a one track railroad that went nowhere. It was built to meet an absurd challenge once posed by Mark Twain; “the only thing Yankee ingenuity had not accomplished…the successful passing of two carloads on a single line of tracks.”

    Each of the Leap Frog cars were equipped with a pair of bent rails on their roofs that allowed the approaching cars to glide over or underneath each other. The 32 frightened passengers bracing for a collision, were relieved when the other car safely passed overhead. On the return trip the cars changed positions so that passengers on both cars got to experience the sensation.”

  10. brilang August 3, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Looks really interesting. I would think it would be very distracting for the drivers underneath however – downright dangerous even.

  11. badwolfeco August 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I suppose it would be like driving through a tunnel, albeit a moving tunnel. It’s just a matter of getting used to driving with the new addition.

    What I’m wondering is: will this bus have any tracks keeping it on course. Because if not, and the driver nods of at the wheel, this bus could take out all the cars underneath it. A bus this size could pose a serious threat should anything go wrong.

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