BEIJING STARTS EXPERIMENTS WITH ELECTRIC STRADDLE BUS
China may soon be dealing with its traffic problems by driving right over the top of them. A Beijing company is planning to move ahead with a track-based public transport system that allows vehicles to pass underneath, an idea aimed at easing air pollution and congestion.
Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus came up with the concept for its Elevated Transit Bus and demonstrated a small functioning model at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo (CHITEC).
Wide enough to cover two traffic lanes, the raised bus would travel along tracks on either side of the road so that cars up to 2 meters (6.6 ft) tall can pass underneath. Ramps would fold outwards to give users access to the street when the bus reaches a stop (though in the company's animation these do look rather steep and treacherous).
The bus can travel at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37.2 mph) and is equipped to carry up to 1,400 passengers. According to New China TV, the system could replace up to 40 conventional buses, a move it says would save 800 tons of fuel and 2,480 tons of carbon emissions each year.
The system will save lots of road space and perform the same role as a subway, albeit at 16 percent of the cost. It would also be much quicker to manufacture and construct.
You can take a look at the video of an actual demonstration with a mini vehicle, in the YouTube video on the toprighthandcorner of the screen. It gives a good idea of how it would work.