An elevated bus which straddles roads, carrying passengers over the traffic below, has been tested for the first time in China.
Just months after its spectacular design was revealed, the Transit Explore Bus had its inaugural run this month on 300m of specially constructed test track in Qinhuangdao, a city in the north-east Hebei province.
This Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) straddles the cars below, enabling them to pass through. The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is powered by electricity and can carry the passengers above two lanes of traffic while cars drive underneath it. The 22m long, 7.8m wide and 4.8m high bus trundled along a 300m stretch of road. The vehicle is expected to reach speeds of up to 60km per hour, running on the rails laid along ordinary roads. Up to four TEBs can be linked together.
The spacious interior of the each bus looks more like an luxury airport departure lounge than a public bus and can squeeze in 300 passengers at full capacity. The original designs for the TEB showed multiple carriages linked together to carry up to 1,200 passengers.
The world learned of the road-straddling bus when a model was showcased at a technology expo in Beijing in May. It generated enormous excitement within a country where traffic jams have grown as the country overtook the US to become the largest automotive market on earth in 2009.
It was noted that a similar design – also by Song – had previously cropped up at the event in 2010.