For years China has been toying with the idea of building a massive bus that straddles multiple lanes of cars to move commuters without creating a traffic mess. To date, it's only existed as fancy computer renders and animations. But starting today a real-life version starts testing in Qinhuangdao, China. Image by Xinhua News Agency
World's first transit elevated bus, TEB-1 on its launching test Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, N China's Hebei pic.twitter.com/yMepYWD1kD
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 2, 2016
The first working version of the straddling bus isn't quite ready to handle the mean streets of Qinhuangdao yet. For testing purposes, the bus is limited to a 300m-long track, with limited turns and traffic challenges. But it's the first step towards something like this actually going into full service one day.
If the bus does end up being agile enough to handle a wide variety of streets and traffic conditions, it could one day carry upwards of 1200 passengers at speeds of 60km/h. These are ambitious goals, for sure. But adding a fleet of these busses to a crowded city centre would be hundreds of millions of dollars cheaper than introducing new tunnels or elevated trains to help ease congestion.