By Lukas Steinberg and Kenneth Tan
The “world’s longest bus”, a triple-segment articulated monster bus measuring some 30 metres, is coming to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai, if Chinese media reports are to be believed.
This newest baby of Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems can sit as many as 257 passengers, and will, according to its developers, be as easy to steer as the double-segment buses.
The company claims that orders have already been received from multiple countries including China, but you won’t see the buses plying the streets of Berlin, the German capital, anytime soon.
A spokesperson from the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, the local traffic company, rejected the super bus, stating that “the company is always eager to test new vehicles, but for monster buses like that: no way.”
Despite its relatively wide boulevards, a lot of amendments would have to be made to Berlin’s infrastructure to make the application of the buses safe, added the spokesman.
Apart from tests that will be conducted this fall in Dresden (population 530,000), it is unclear if the buses will hit the streets anywhere else in Germany.
Here in Shanghai, a spokesperson with the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority said he hasn’t heard of any plans to purchase the buses when contacted by Xinmin. Bashi and Pudong, two of the biggest bus companies in Shanghai, also said they had no plans to acquire the buses.
If those earlier rumours prove to be true though, then residents in China’s two largest cities should prepare themselves for more entertaining moments of Mortal Kombat on the streets.
Super-long buses now in use in bus rapid transit lines in Changzhou and Zhengzhou now measure 18 metres long and can carry up to 180 passengers each.
The bus rapid transit system in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.