China’s Buses That Float Above Traffic Now Rendered Useless

Prayank

The much promising Transit Elevated Buses (TEB) which was a futuristic way of travelling while also addressing the growing traffic woes of a populated country like China is now an abandoned project.

tbe1

The bus was unveiled this summer during its trial run in the Hebei province and received a warm response from the citizenry of the country as well as awe from governments worldwide.

Although, it was highly anticipated that after the successful trial runs on the 300m track in Qinhuangdao, the vehicle will be put to use, but that isn’t happening due to the huge media uproar surrounding it in the country.

The heavy criticism faced by TEB led the investors in the project to pull out their funds.

Highly dubbed as the future of public transport in the country, the bus had the following features:

  • The height between the road and the bus’s floor was 2 metres allowing cars to pass from underneath it.
  • The transit elevated bus was powered by electricity.
  • It could accommodate up to 300 passengers in its 72-feet-long and 25-feet-wide body.
  • It could gain speeds up to 60 km/hour.
  • Tracks were laid on either side of the road, allowing the bus to straddle through traffic.

What Led to the TEB’s Demise?

The once promising work by engineers of the country is now a piece of metal sitting on the road which it ran trials on due to specific issues with its design.

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A designer’s rendition of TEBs | Shutterstock

For one, the 2 metres height of the vehicle wasn’t enough to accommodate SUVs and other big cars and could also be hazardous to the roads it was being run on.

The traffic lights and other infrastructures near the road will all have to be redesigned. Otherwise, it could prove to be hazardous and cause serious damage to the infra in place.

The project was also criticised citing that these buses will need straight roads, which weren’t available in most of the urban areas and also will need overhead boarding platforms, which will again take up a lot of space.

Although project engineers pointed that the bus was capable of turning corners, but the cars underneath would have to wait for the bus to turn first and then follow to avoid a collision.

The project was also accused of receiving illegal crowdfunding, and in addition to media’s criticism of its design and aesthetics, the lack of disclosure of information to the investors led them to pull their money from the project.

The project has been abandoned, and the what once looked like the future of travel has been reduced to a junk of (good looking) metal sitting on top of the tracks in Qinhuangdao where it once made a promising debut.

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.