Elevated bus would cruise over China’s urban traffic

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Elevated bus would cruise over China’s urban traffic

The future of urban transport in China’s traffic-clogged cities might be a gigantic elevated bus that resembles an alien spaceship. David Roberts reports for Vox that a prototype of a Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) capable of straddling traffic was recently tested in the northeast city of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province.

“The idea is to lift buses up above traffic so they are not slowed by it and don’t make it worse,” Roberts writes. The electric-powered people-movers would operate on tracks alongside roads. Vehicles less than seven feet tall could drive underneath and the buses would be low enough for overpasses. Riders would board from raised platforms.

Four elevated buses could be tethered to create an “articulated train” that can carry 1,200 passengers, Roberts notes. That would allow these futuristic buses to rival subway lines. The TEB is just a concept for now, with many unanswered safety questions, such as what happens if there’s a collision under the bus—or with it. Drivers also could find the experience disorienting. Meanwhile, CNN reports that elevated buses might be most suitable for new cities where the concept could be woven into planning.

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