Shenzhen’s Straddling Buses: The Future of Public Transportation Starts in China
Anyone who’s ever been stuck in traffic will appreciate China’s latest invention: “Straddling Buses.” Picture a bus, a double decker bus if you will, where the passengers sit comfortably in the upper level while the lower level is designed in such a way that cars and other vehicles are able to pass underneath it.
This piece of genius hails all the way from the creative and slightly eccentric mind of designer Shenzhen Hashi of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co. The Straddling Bus can be best described as 6m by 4.5m high train with two levels “straddling” the road. This space saving, high capacity bus can easily carry 1300 passengers without the hassle of blocking traffic every time it loads and unloads pedestrians. Just imagine no more congested bus bays, parking lots, or taxi ranks. The bus can stop at its designated bus/parking spots without affecting the traffic, as vehicles can simply pass under it, continuing on their journey uninterrupted. No need to wait (im)patiently behind buses that stop every ten minutes, just drive on without even breaking your speed.
There are still design concepts that need some sorting out, but building the Straddling bus and “transport network” involves laying rails on both sides of the road. There won’t be any need for building special roads just for bus “lanes,” hence saving energy and man power. When it comes to bus stops/parking spots, passengers can either board from a special platform, or from a ladder leading directly from the underpass to the ceiling door.
Areas where the Straddling bus will have stations will save tax payers their hard earned income including fuel consumption. The bus will save approximately 900 tons of fuel per annum and reduce carbon emission to 2500 tons. It is expected that the Straddling bus will reduce traffic by 30 percent, and will cost only 10 percent (and a third of the time spent) of what a subway construction would cost. Usually when transportation sectors plan how to speed up traffic, it involves putting more buses on the road. More buses mean more bus terminals and parking lots. Its not only the more costly option, it also increases traffic (and road rage), not to mention all the negative side effects it can have on the environment. Fuel emissions leading to air and water pollution, etc.
After the exhibit held at the 13th Beijing International High Tech Expo in May 2010, the first 186km of rails will commence building later this year in Beijing’s Mentougou district.
In our day and age, I say kudos to Shenzhen for designing a transportation solution that will not only save on expenses and revenue, but also is environmental-friendly. For other cool transportation designs, check out the Eco-friendly Pandur Vehicle or the Egochine B Concept Sports Car.