The First Green Straddling Bus
With millions of people living in several Asian megalopolises, it’s not wonder that some of the most innovative solutions to traffic congestion and public transit are being invented there. So what is a city official or governing board to do with roads that are seemingly over-polluted, congested to the maximum degree with cars and other vehicles, with little hope in sight for a population to diminish even slightly?
In Hong Kong, it seems that officials there have figured out a solution. In a nutshell, they’ve designed a mass transit vehicle that takes up literally no space on the road. That’s right. NONE. And at least in part, the vehicle appears to be powered via solar panels, too.
Meet Hong Kong’s New Straddling Bus: Eco-Friendly Mass Transit
Here are the facts on the new Hong Kong straddling bus: it’s 6 meters wide, 10 meters long per car and 4 to 4.5 meters tall, and comes equipped with two separate levels: passengers can ride in seats on the upper deck, and vehicles under 2 meters can go under it simultaneously. The Straddling Bus was invented and manufactured by a southern Chinese company located in the town of Shenzhen (Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment). Up to 1,200 passengers can ride on the super bus.
More like a train than a bus, the invention does not require a lot of infrastructure upgrades in order to function: that means, no tunnels to be dug, and no elevated tracks to be built just to implement the traffic solution within a city’s already-congested traffic grid. Taking up no more than 2 traffic lanes, the vehicles “stilts” resemble something more like a thin fence, through which regular cars can easily drive. And it runs on electricity from the city, as well as solar panels that are fixed to the roofs of the bus cars, as well as others located at various bus stops.
The pilot project, a first of its kind, is currently in production for the Chinese city of Beijing.
NY Times Coverage: ‘Straddling Bus’ Offered as a Traffic Fix in China.
Video Footage of China’s Straddling Bus (English Voiceover)[Photo Via: wired]