The Straddling Bus of China

Topics: Road, Public transport, Bus Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: May 10, 2013
China is home to more people than any other country on Earth, and they're moving into megacities at a rate that's simply unprecedented. In fact, just about everything about today's China is unprecedented – this is a country facing some absolutely staggering challenges in the next 30 years. It's a peek into the future for Western nations – a glimpse at what is becoming the world's first megacolony. Managing a transport plan for such a colossal number of people – many of whom now own, or aspire to own, cars – presents a traffic congestion and pollution quandary the likes of which we've simply never seen before. Take a look at Mike Hanlon's jaw-dropping Yez video to get a snapshot of the problems China faces and see how its government and industries are scrambling to become the global leaders in local emissions-free vehicles. And take a look at this amazing public transport solution – it's a bus network that drives over the top of the cars on a slightly modified road, able to stop without interrupting the traffic flow and to glide over the top of congestion. This go-go-gadget bus is far quicker and 90 percent cheaper to build than a new subway route, it's solar/grid electric powered and it's no pipe dream – construction starts at the end of this year. Say what you will about China, but this is a country that knows how to get things done. It has no choice – its hand is being forced by its massive and rapidly urbanizing population. Luckily, after the GFC, it's also supremely cashed-up. It's boom time, and the whole country is aware that if mass solutions for housing, transit, energy and a whole host of other issues aren't deployed NOW, the country is going to suffer in a big way. So here's a fascinatiing public transport idea that we've never seen mooted before – giant super-buses that roll on stilts on small tracks between lanes of traffic. So they roll over the top of stopped traffic, and when they stop to let passengers on and off, they don't interrupt the flow of...
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