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China’s Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) became a reality last week – or did it? New reports with local media claim the futuristic ‘straddling bus’ is little more than a money-making scam.

After taking the internet by storm in May, the TEB pilot project was ‘launched’ just last week, however the Chinese media isn’t buying the concept.

A couple of media outlets in China have speculated the TEB project is bait to attract money from investors, as it was funded by crowdsourcing.

Reports claim the ‘test run’ didn’t simulate real traffic conditions, as the TEB only travelled around 300 metres. Nor did authorities in Qinhuangdao city know that the event occurred.

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Other criticisms include the height of the TEB’s underpass, which has a maximum clearance of 2.1 metres, though China’s height limit for vehicles is 4.2 metres.

Adding to the conspiracy theories are questions over how the vehicle would turn or go through intersections, along with the fact it runs on tracks – making it somewhat of a train rather than a bus.

Car News China points out the station built for the pilot voyage was poorly made, with the paint already peeling and the construction appearing rushed – it’s claimed it was built within two months.

The home-style air-conditioning units housed near the wheels have also been highlighted, indicating that the TEB isn’t necessarily a technological feat like originally thought.

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Above: Mobile gantry cranes, the believed twin-under-the-skin of the TEB

To top it all off, the TEB is alleged to share its running gear with a large mobile gantry crane, while the chief architect, Song Youzhou, only has primary school-level education.

At the same time, the TEB is still a prototype, so early scepticism in response to such a radical concept in a conservative nation can be expected.

Stay tuned for an update.

Do you think the TEB bus/train is a scam? Let us know in the comments section below

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