|"Chinese Half-Bus, Half-Train Allows Vehicles to Pass Underneath"|
Posting by Staff
link to story | permalink
August 4, 2010
The Chinese 3D Bus, a vehicle that carries passengers above street level, straddling the lanes below so traffic can pass freely underneath may revolutionize mass transit.
A big concern on top of urban transportation planner's mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing's Mentougou District where 116 miles of road has already been mapped out. Constrution will begin by year's end.
Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehiclesâ€™ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.
The vehicle is wide, straddling two lanes at a time, letting traffic pass underneath both when it is stopped and when it is in motion. It's clearly best suited to long, straight stretches of roadway, but the bus can turn and is equipped with signals underneath that give cars traveling there ample warning that a turn is approaching. Radar scanners will alert drivers passing underneath if they wander to close to the bus's wheels, and a similar system would warn traffic approaching from behind if a vehicle too tall to clear the bus's belly.
Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd.