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China Develops a 2-Lane Straddling Bus

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On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:32AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

China Develops a 2-Lane Straddling Bus

Many metropolitan areas have problems with traffic jams causing delays and increasing the level of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Adding subways can be very expensive and the more buses a metro area has, the worse traffic conditions become.   

The answer, according to innovative Chinese technology, is a 3-D Fast Bus (that looks more like a gigantic double tram than a bus) that is able to transport passengers throughout the city by carrying commuters above the street level, straddling the traffic lanes underneath the bus with an open design like a tunnel allowing cars to literally drive through the bus.

The Chinese company, named Shenzhen Hashi Co., developed the idea for the massive Fast Bus that provides commuters with a ride on a fixed route. The bus is powered by the city’s municipal power grid coupled with solar energy that originates from the roof top of the bus. 

The Fast Bus has a top speed of just a little below 40 mph, so it would be inappropriate for long trips, but was intended for metropolitan transit purposes, targeted at large highly populated cities such as those that are common in China. The Fast Bus system can transport 1,200 passengers and is ideal for inner city commuting.

The bus is odd looking, like no metro area transit bus you would find in the U.S.; the vehicle is very wide, straddling 2 lanes of traffic (which is able to pass through its hollow tunnel below) while seating its passengers on the top level. Long straight stretches of roadways work best for the bus route, but it can turn. You may be wondering what happens to the traffic underneath with intentions to keep going straight. The bus is equipped with turn signals in the tunnel underneath that notify the cars driving through its tunnel-like center far enough in advance when an impending turn is approaching. There is also a radar system designed for safety that will notify any automobiles that get too close to the outer parameter of the bus or its wheels. There is a similar radar system that will warn approaching traffic if their vehicle is too tall to go through the tunnel area.

It sounds (and looks) like something too futuristic to be real; however, Beijing has already mapped out over 100 miles of the Mentougou District for use as a test area to see how the 3D Fast Bus will perform in real life traffic situations. The construction of the actual infrastructure will begin at the end of the year.

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