China’s tunnel bus

A new Chinese company has built a working version of the design once seen as far-fetched

China’s tunnel bus
The TEB spans two lanes and could replace up to 40 regular buses

Chinese company TEB Technology has taken the idea of a traffic-straddling bus to the next stage by actually building a working example.

The design was once thought of as too radical, with questions of practicality and implementation slowing the development process to the point of the bus being only a work of fiction.

Now one exists in the real world, in China, and it’s unlikely to remain the only one.

Dubbed the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), the vehicle spans two lanes and could reportedly replace up to 40 regular buses, with the potential to carry 300 passengers.

The TEB, which is powered by electricity, is expected to be able to reach 60km/h along its specially built guidance track.

Despite the unknown potential for the TEB, concerns have been raised over infrastructure requirements.

Safety has also been criticised, as there is an apparent risk of collisions between the TEB and other road users.

TEB Technology’s website says "In the US… the new straddling bus likely wouldn't work with existing infrastructure".

For countries with the room to expand infrastructure, the TEB could still be viable as each bus would only cost around US$4.5 million, far less than a rail network or subway.

According to TEB Technology, Chinese social media users expressed their surprise at the speed with which the project has progressed.

It is still unclear whether the TEB will become a widely used mode of transport in China.

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