China’s straddling bus offered the promise of being a novel way to solve the country’s mass transportation problem. The vehicle would have carried as many as 300 people above traffic while the highway continued to function normally underneath. Gutters on each side of the road acted as a guide for it. Unfortunately, the clever idea has ended in utter failure. The city of Qinhuangdao has now started dismantling of the straddling bus’ 1,000 feet (300 meter) test track.
This outcome isn’t entirely surprising. Photos emerged in December 2016 that showed the Straddling Bus rotting away just a few months after the trial started in August. According to Hong Kong Economic Journal testing stopped in October. Residents also claimed the track caused traffic problems – not a good sign for an idea meant to solve those issues.
The vehicle’s design didn’t work in the real word. For example, there was just 6 feet 11 inches (2.1 meters) of clearance underneath, despite the country’s regulations allowing traffic to be as tall as 13 feet 9 inches (4.2 meters).
Chinese state media was rather dubious about the straddling bus and alleged the project was a scam by the builder. Plus, city officials in Qinhuangdao reportedly didn’t know that the vehicle was testing there until the evaluations actually began.
Even if this application of the straddling bus is a complete failure, the general concept still has merit. The vehicle’s original pitch video (below) showed something that would make more efficient use of the road by moving mass transit above the highway. While this is essentially the same idea as an elevated train, the straddling bus would conceivably be cheaper to implement because it only requires the gutters as guides.
Source: EJ Insight
Video Source: New China TV Via YouTube