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The futuristic Chinese 'straddling' bus hits a dead end

23 June 2017

The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) or the ‘straddling bus’ was undergoing its first test a few months back but now, reports say the project has been scrapped.

TEB (Image courtesy of New China)

Designed by Youzhou Song, the plan was for the bust to run on embedded rails on both sides of the street. Electrically powered, it would travel at speeds of approximately 30mph across two lanes of traffic while leaving smaller vehicles free to drive underneath.

The cost of construction was supposed to be less than one-fifth of building a subway and it was estimated the new design could replace 40 buses. 

Back in August 2016, the TEB underwent its first test in Qinhuangdao, Hebei. The test-run didn’t exactly simulate real-world traffic conditions as it was just one bus carriage on a controlled track of only 300m in length. Eventually, the plan would have been to couple together four TEBs to reach speeds of 37mph. 

There was much excitement to see the straddling bus in action, but according to a recent report on the BBC, the project quickly ran into feasibility and investment problems. There’s even talk that workers have begun dismantling the test track in Qinhuangdao. There were also issues surrounding its battery life, weight ability and whether or not it would be approved by local authorities. 

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