The future of public transportation is coming sooner than you might think, with China’s world-famous “straddling bus” set for its first test run in a couple of months.
According to state media reports, this test run will not exactly simulate real world traffic conditions — it will only be about 300 meters long. Earlier, the company in charge of developing this modern marvel announced that the first test run would be 2 kilometers long. Reporters have questioned what exactly developers will be able to learn from such an abbreviated trial, which is apparently set to take place in Beidaihe District of Qinhuangdao in Hebei province, sometime in August.
The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is supposed to zoom above the street, while traffic slips conveniently underneath. Its engineer says it will be able to carry up to 1,400 passengers and travel at 60 kilometers per hour. Similar to a subway, it would cost five times less and take only a year to finish.
China has been kicking the idea around for quite some time now, but the project generated renewed interest in May when a real honest-to-god mini model was unveiled at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo.
The model and subsequent videos set off speculation around the world about whether the TEB was the public transit miracle the world had been waiting for or the worst idea that anybody has ever had.
Watch this video and decide for yourself:
LOOK OUT, WORLD!