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China’s Straddling Bus

Do you now or have you ever lived in a major metropolitan area? I have. I remember what sticks out to me: the blaring noise, the crush of people, and of course the terrible, terrible traffic (oh, and all the good things too…I guess). Lets face it, city buses are a godsend to people who need transportation and a headache for everyone else. Bus drivers seem to have some amazing immunity to traffic laws and the special power to appear right in front of you whenever you’re running late. They are the very definition of a metropolitan necessary evil. But do they have to be?

China thinks they’ve got the problem figured out. Their new Transit Elevated Bus has an uncanny way of handling traffic; it ignores it. By replacing wheels with monorail-like strips the bus literally drives overtop of commercial traffic. The Straddling Bus (as it’s been called) is 72 feet long, 26 feet wide, and elevated more than 6 feet off the ground. A full bus of four connected carriages should be able to carry about 1,200 passengers! The bus is so massive that it actually has traffic lights on its undercarriage to direct traffic that drives under it.

Detractors say this kind of transportation may cause more problems than it solves. There certainly are some issues with existing traffic laws, merging lanes, irregular roads, and other concerns. Still, I think the idea is worth a try.

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China has been dealing with serious traffic issues for years. Could this be the solution?
CCTV News

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The bus is really more like a mobile underpass than another car on the road.
Associated Press

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It’s also surprisingly spacious.
Associated Press

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Due to pollution issues in China’s big cities, all of the buses will be fully electronic and emissions-free.
Associated Press

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Each bus will cost 2.5 million dollars. For that price you can get 11 normal emissions-free buses.
Associated Press

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The buses can go as fast as 40 mph. That’s pretty good for public transportation.
Associated Press

I for one, really do hope this experiment is successful. Not only will these reduce traffic issues in big cities, but it’s also a step in the right direction for pollution reduction. That’s a win/win in my book.

For more on this awesome new bus check out the news report below.

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