The Happy Bus That Drives Over Cars
Every urban commuter laments the twice-a-day headache of traffic congestion and the often disappointing alternatives that mass transit offers.
A Chinese company has officially rolled out one potential solution: the TEB-1, or Transit Elevated Bus. The giant “flying” bus, as some have called it, straddles two lanes of traffic and stands nearly 16 feet tall so that it can pass over cars on the roadway below. While still a long way from mass production, the TEB-1 could one day alleviate major traffic woes in China and other countries with crowded metropolitan areas.
The concept of an elevated bus was first floated in 2010, and a model was debuted in May of this year. The company behind the project, TEB Technology conducted a road test and opened its doors to prospective passengers in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao on Tuesday. Elevated Bus piloted in China’s Hebei province rolls along a designated track, making it similar in some ways to a commuter train or tram — the key difference, of course, being that it runs on top of the existing roadway without the need to construct a separate overpass.
Images distributed by Chinese media show a spacious passenger compartment — measuring 72 feet long by 26 feet wide — capable of holding up to 300 riders. Surprisingly, there are not very many seats. That would probably have to change should an American model ever come to fruition.
What’s more, laying a track for the elevated bus on highways with few twists and turns is perhaps practical, but the crisscross pattern and narrow streets common in most cities may be more difficult.
Originally published at happyho.in on August 4, 2016.