Traffic perhaps the greatest environmental liability and biggest daily annoyance of urban epicenters. Between the number of cars in the streets, the tendency of ground-level public transportation vehicles to jam the roads further and the costly, time-intensive development of underground transit, urban planners have found themselves in a Catch-22. But a Chinese company may have a solution.
The “straddling” bus proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co. is an approximately 16-foot-tall bi-level vehicle bestraddling the road and resembling a light-rail train. Passengers board on the second level, while vehicles less than 6.5 feet high pass underneath.
The bus is powered by a combination of electricity and solar energy, offering a speed of up to 37 miles per hour and carrying 1200-1400 passengers. It promises a traffic reduction of 20-30%.
While it may seem futuristic, the project will only cost about 500 million yuan ($74 million) for the bus itself and a 25-mile-long path for it, merely 10% of the cost of building a subway system of equivalent length and capacity. In fact, BJ News reports that the model is to be piloted in Beijing’s Mentougou District.
China Hush has more.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.