Even global mockery and charges of fraud can’t stop the little “straddling bus” that could, which is surprisingly continuing testing in Qinhuangdao despite persistent rumors that the dream was over.
The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) made its first test-run last month to much fanfare and media hype, before being abruptly labeled as a big fat scam by Chinese media only a few days later. Shortly afterward, the “straddling bus” was locked up, and investors started asking for their money back. While Narendra Modi may have still have had faith in the future of public transportation, it sure seemed like no one else did.
And yet, at the end of August, the TEB was back out on its mini 300-meter-long strip of road testing away with locals stopping by to take pictures. Some thought that this might just be a last hurrah for the “straddling bus” with the company’s lease on the piece of road in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province set to expire at the end of the month.
But far from being demolished, Transit Elevated Bus Technology Co. Ltd, has said that the test track will remain for at least another year and that it has finally signed a cooperation agreement with the local government. According to CRI, part of the new government-mandated (for real this time) plan is a 120-kilometer operation line in Qinhuangdao. ChinaNews even reports that by 2017 regular residents will be able to interact — travel on and under — the “straddling bus” on its test line.
However, Song Youzhou, the inventor of the “straddling bus” seems to have been a bit humbled by last month’s setbacks, saying that if the TEB doesn’t work out as a mode of transportation, it will at least be the centerpiece of a museum to remind humanity of its greatest potential.
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) August 3, 2016
[Images via ChinaNews]