China Is Going Back Into The Future With Its Eco-Friendly Straddling Bus

The future is building up in China; just a couple of years after first proof of concept surfaced, Chinese engineers succeed in constructing a bus capable of driving above traffic. Reasons for making this project are pretty straightforward. During the last economic boom, China was faced with an incredible growth of car owners; there’re 20 million new drivers on the roads each year, making a new meaning for a traffic jam. Not to mention the rise of pollution, a problem that makes Beijing look like coming from some dark dystopian view of the future. Sun can disappear for weeks, with just a thick layer of smog hovering above the city.

Straddling Bus

The new bus should help with these problems by offering a simple, cheap, and efficient solution for public transportation. Firstly, the bus has construction we can see on catamarans; two pillars are connected to the road, making the bus straddling above the ground, allowing cars to pass under it, effectively rising above traffic jams. An incredible vehicle, which was first conceptualized by Craig Hodgetts and Lester Walker back in 1969. It should’ve become the ultimate solution to New York’s  traffic problems. But in never became a reality, until now.

Straddling Bus 2

The biggest advantage of the bus is that the vehicle is powered by electricity since pollution is too high in China to enable the bus to be powered by gas, And we live in the 21st century where technology is advanced enough to provide zero-emission public transportation. The second problem, traffic jams, could be solved by sheer capacity of the straddling bus. The vehicle is capable of carrying up to 1,400 passengers. Just imagine a hundred of these circling through Beijing, capable of transporting millions of passengers each day.

Max speed is around 40 miles (around 65 kilometers) per hour, very fast regarding the size of the thing. Song Youzhou, the chief engineer behind the project stated that the bus can take the place of forty regular buses, cutting annual fuel consumption by more than 800 tons, and lowering carbon emissions by almost 2,500 tons. And that’s just one straddling bus, just imagine what an entire fleet would to for ecology.

The straddling bus is an excellent example of how we, humans, are capable of inventing exciting new stuff if we just have enough resources at our disposal. It could solve traffic problems not just in China, but in most parts of the world. Of course, a couple of years will pass before the bus becomes a regular sight in China. For now, Transit Explore Bus, the company behind it all, plans to begin test phase in August in Changzhou, where the company will build electric tracks needed for a straddling bus.

We hope for testing to end soon, enabling a new kind of mass public transportation vehicle capable of carrying thousands of passengers to become a part of everyday life. First in China, after that hopefully in the whole world.

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