Watch: China tests the world's first elevated bus

A novel transport idea
by Gerard Jude Castillo | Aug 4, 2016

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A new transport innovation is about to change the global commuting game forever. The city of Qinhuangdao in Hebei, China, may have just witnessed what could very well be the solution to horrendous traffic jams and transport shortages everywhere: the world's very first elevated bus.

BBC News reports that the straddling Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is basically a huge, above-ground subway train. The 21m long and 8m wide vehicle towers about 2m above the ground, and can carry as many as 300 passengers at any given time. Now that's what you call capacity.

The elevated bus can travel at speeds of up to 60kph on rails set along any road network. Engineers say that up to four elevated buses can be joined together to run as a single, cohesive unit. To demonstrate the vehicle in action, engineers did a dry run along a 300m track just a month after the concept's unveiling during th 19th China Bejing International High Tech Expo.

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So why would anyone take the TEB over a regular bus or even the MRT? For one, the cost of building a network of TEBs is pegged at a just a fifth of a subway system. Another distinct advantage is that it would be able to save a whole lot of road space, as cars can simply drive underneath them. Lastly, one TEB can reportedly replace as many as 40 regular buses. Imagine all that room on the road. Heaven.

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While the TEB made its maiden voyage in the Chinese city, it's still unclear on when it will become fully operational. A news bit mentioned that countries such as France, Brazil, and India have also expressed interest in a similar system. And if it lives up to its promises, we wouldn’t mind seeing it along EDSA as well. 


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