Given the brazen theft of American military technology by China, officials and transit leaders in Washington, D.C., might consider lifting the design for their recently unveiled “straddle bus.”
The electric transit concept formally known as the Elevated Transit Bus, rides on rails situated over a two lane roadway, as vehicle traffic flows seamlessly beneath it. The idea, originally proposed in 2010 by designer Youzhou Song, promises to transform modern transit in cities, reduce traffic congestion and lower pollution levels, something particularly important in China, reports Fortune.
— Michael Babich (@MichaelBabich) August 2, 2016
The bus would hold roughly 1200 people and can be manufactured in a fraction of the time and at a fifth of the cost it takes to build a subway system. Safety concerns abound, however, mainly the hazard it poses to vehicles driving beneath it, switching lanes or exiting a roadway. There are also fears of massive accidents when the futuristic bus needs to change directions.
The 25-foot-wide elevated bus would measure roughly 288 feet in length and travel up to 37 miles per hour. The “straddle bus” is currently being tested in the city of Qinhuangdao just a month after beginning initial production. The bus underwent its first round of road testing Tuesday and if it proves successful, other countries including Brazil, France, India and Indonesia may follow suit, according to Fox News.
World’s first transit elevated bus, TEB-1 on its launching test Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, N China’s Hebei pic.twitter.com/yMepYWD1kD
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 2, 2016
At a cost of roughly $4.5 million D.C. could revolutionize city transit, and this in stark contrast to the $200 million spent over 10 years building D.C.’s 2.2. mile long streetcar.
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