In China, traffic jams are serious business—like, ‘50 lanes of gridlock’ serious. A Beijing company called Transit Explore Bus is gearing up to test an incredible solution that we first reported nearly six years ago. This summer the company will roll out a traffic-straddling bus the width of two traffic lanes that could help alleviate some of the congestion in the city of more than 11.5 million people.
The so-called ‘straddling bus’ hasn’t been built, but the model prototype is already beyond our wildest dreams. The bus spans two lanes of traffic and is tall enough to allow regular car traffic to drive underneath it, provided they are under the 6.5-foot (2-meter) clearance. The bus can travel up to 37 miles per hour (60 km/h) and has seating for up to 1,400 commuters.
The company demonstrated its pint-sized model over the weekend at Beijing’s 19th International High-Tech Expo, and has plans for full-scale testing to begin in July or August. Engineer Song Youzhou has been working on the concept since the beginning, in partnership with various companies. Previous versions of the design never came to fruition, but Youzhou continued to push forward in hopes of improving on one of the country’s biggest urban transportation problems.
“It has the same function as the subway, but it costs only 16 percent of what a subway costs,” he told Xinhua, China’s state-owned news agency. “Manufacturing and construction time are also much shorter than that for subway.”
There’s no word on what type of engine or fuel system the straddling bus would have, but we have our fingers crossed for a zero-emissions electric bus that could really make a difference in one of the most polluted cities in the world.
Via Huffington Post
Images via Transit Explore Bus via screenshot