Update: Is China's Straddle Bus The Reply To Traffic And Pollution Woes?
Update December 12, 2016
China's Transit Explore Bus or TEB was talk of the town all throughout 2016, especially when it was tested for the first time back in May. But, since then, this futuristic transit system has been kept to collect dust. While many felt that such a system should be turned into reality soon, the project didn't see the light as investors pulled out. Moreover, it is said that the clearance below the bus is lower than the height of an average vehicle that runs on China's roads.
As the world struggles to overcome the traffic problem and rising pollution levels, Chinese transport company Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company has come up with an innovative model that might address both the concerns. The transit explore bus (TEB), or the straddle bus, could be a substitute to subway and conventional public transport, which takes up too much space on the road and also blocks the path.
The concept was unveiled at the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May 2010, but authorities had then found it “way too immature to test”. The bus, however, was finally tested in Qinhuangdao, a city in Northeast China recently. The first internal test of the concept was done on a 300-metre-long track made especially for this purpose.
It comes on roads, the concept might change the way people drive in Chinese cities. MakaanIQ takes look at the key features of the TEB:
- The TEB will be electrically powered, using overhead lines or other roof electrical contact systems, supplemented with photovoltaic panels, batteries or super capacitors on board (solar energy).
- It will travel at up to 60 km/h (37 mph).
- A cross between a tram and a bus, a TEB is equipped with a radar scanning system to prevent cars and trucks from coming too near.
- The biggest strength of the TEB is that it can park on its own without taking up space on the road and blocking the traffic.
- Cars with the height of up to two metres can pass through from under a TEB.
- By laying rails on both sides of the car lane, roads could be remodelled to be suitable for the straddle bus. The passengers can come in and out of the bus through the built-in ladder.
- The escape mechanism on the bus is similar to that of the plane which has inflatable emergency exits, which would open up automatically in case of emergency. The passengers can slide down the inflated ladders, making it the fastest route of escape.
- The construction time for building a 40-km stretch for a TEB would cost only 500 million Yuan. Compared to the expenses on building a subway, the cost of running a TEB would be much less.