China’s elevated bus demoed that glides above traffic

Back in May, we had reported how Transport Explore Bus, a Beijing-based company was working on a scale model of a road-straddling bus that looks like an overgrown monorail and would allow the traffic to pass underneath it. We had also informed that the trial of a full-size version is expected to be deployed on urban Chinese around August this year.

True to their words, the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) took its first test ride Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, a port city in northeast China, according to China’s Xinhua News. The electricity-powered vehicle’s brake and power systems were tested on 300m-long controlled track.

The TEB concept is designed to help alleviate China’s massive traffic problems and reduce congestion and vehicle emissions – a growing problem in China. The TEB has a roomy interior that is over 72-feet long and 25-feet wide. It’s roughly 16-feet tall, and offers about 7 feet of space underneath for cars to travel through it. The bus can carry up to 300 passengers, and rides along tracks embedded in the street. It’s supposed to reach 40 to 50 km/h (about 25 to 31 mph). The TEB runs on sixteen tired wheels and is guided by eight pairs of rail wheels.

The bus was first shown in 2010, and then again re-proposed at this year’s 19th International High-tech Expo in Beijing. Song You Zhou, the designer and chief engineer of the TEB, says prototypes are being constructed, and that five cities — Qinhuangdao, Nanyang, Tianjin, Shenyang, and Zhoukou — have signed contracts with his TEB Technology Development Company for pilot projects.

Back in May, Song You Zhou had told WCC Daily that if all goes well, it will only be a year to a year and a half before the vehicle enters the market. With the prototype arriving as promised, it would be interesting to see if the company’s real-size TEB is able to hit the market on time.