China's Transit Explore Bus (TEB) has launched the pilot project of its road-straddling ‘Transit Elevated Bus’ in Qinhuangdao this week.
After revealing the ambitious ‘Land Airbus’ concept as a scale model back in May, TEB has produced a full-scale prototype which has begun its pilot run in the coastal Chinese city about 300 kilometres east of Beijing.
The massive high-riding bus is powered by battery packs that are charged by electric stations installed along the vehicle’s route.
World's first transit elevated bus, TEB-1 on its launching test Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, N China's Hebei pic.twitter.com/yMepYWD1kD— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 2, 2016
Serving the same purpose as a subway system, the Transit Elevated Bus provides mass transit without taking up space for road traffic (allowing cars to pass underneath it), for only a fraction of the cost - TEB estimates the Transit Elevated Bus costs around 16 per cent of a underground train line.
If the pilot project proves successful, the Transit Elevated Bus system could help to solve China’s growing air pollution and traffic problems, thanks to its all-electric powertrain and increased passenger capacity over regular buses.
Straddling two lanes, the Transit Elevated Bus is far wider than a regular bus and most trains, allowing a much higher passenger density and greatly improving public transit.
TEB’s pilot project will run for the remainder of the Chinese summer.