Shanghai plans elevated bus service, what could possibly go wrong?
In just a mere twenty one years, China has gone from virtually zero private cars to millions upon millions of them; in fact, about 28% new car registrations in the world last year were in China and annual sales are still registering double digit growth. Hellish traffic congestion and the air pollution associated with it have reached epic proportions, and the world’s most populous country is trying to think outside of the box to introduce initiatives that will alleviate the problem, or in this case elevate it.
Engineers believe that they have now come up with a relatively low-cost plan to beat the jam, by creating a bus network that runs on the roads but is elevated so that it passes over the traffic. Designs for the new elevated bus system have been unveiled at a recent tech expo in China, where a scale model of a bus that is reported to be able to carry a staggering 1200 passengers went on show.
Engineers hope that the design will be able to use the current road infrastructure and thus reduce the cost of building down to about 20% the cost of a subway system, and be implementable within a year. The design looks like a cross between a bus and tram system with the behemoths travelling on a track-like rail embedded into existing roads, sort of like a tram on steroids.
This is no pipe dream either, according to Bai Zhi Ming, engineer in charge of the Transit Elevated Bus Project (TEB), who claims that the first trial of the bus will commence later this year in Qinhuagdao City in China’s Northern Hebei Province. Take a look at the video and then ask yourself the question ‘what could possibly go wrong?’