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Wheels

China’s concept of ‘Straddled Bus’ takes a test drive.

by Bharath ChowdaryAugust 4, 2016

China’s latest experiment in public transportation is the futuristic Transit Elevated Bus (TEB)—a unique vehicle that straddles the road and rides over two lanes of traffic—took its first “test drive” this week.On Tuesday, one TEB carriage traveled along a controlled track less than 1,000 feet long in Qinhuangdao City (in north China’s Hebei Province).

The Transit Elevated Bus, nicknamed TEB-1, is about 70-feet-long and can carry up to 300 passengers, according to Xinhua. The bus, which runs on electricity and solar power, was designed to ease traffic congestion.

Song Youzhou, chief engineer of the project, told CCTV that once the TEBs are operational, one TEB could replace 40 conventional buses. Several TEB buses can be connected to each other, according to the news outlet.

A long time coming, TEB debuted at the Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May. The system’s daddy-longlegs-like design allows cars to pass freely underneath, while the bus carries passengers above.Bai Zhiming, an engineer in charge of the project, recently told Chinese news outlet CCTV+ that the bus would ideally transport up to 1,200 people at a time at 37mph, according to Shanghaiist.

Larger and more modern than existing local transit options—with a handful of seats and plenty of standing space—TEB promises the same convenience as the underground train, at “less than one fifth” the cost. And construction could be completed in just one year, Zhiming said.

Passengers may find the TEB experience relaxing and exciting. But imagine being overtaken in your car by a bus-tunnel, or stopped at a red light under the shadow of the straddling machine.And the novel idea of sending scores of passengers up-and-over traffic has also caught the attention of other countries.According to Xinhua, Brazil, France, India and Indonesia have expressed interest in the bus.

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