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Is this Innovative ‘Drive-Through Bus’ a Solution to Gridlock?

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This futuristic bus, its designers say, can be street-ready within a year.

By Blair Mullins Posted Jun 7, 2016

Bus design

Gridlock, an all-too-common urban transit dilemma, results in wasted fuel, increased levels of air pollution and frustrated drivers getting on each other’s nerves.

Urban planners have tried many approaches to reducing gridlock on city highways, from lane closures, single-occupancy car restrictions, higher tolls and myriad street traffic routing schemes, but congestion persists today in most cities across the world as urban planners search for new solutions to moving people around town faster and more efficiently.

Designers in China, however, have developed a unique solution to gridlock with this innovative design for a bus that travels above the car lanes, without the need for an elevated rail. Capable of carrying 1400 passengers per bus, this new design reduces traffic congestion, helps lower urban carbon emissions, and uses known technology that enables its developers to have a working model up and running within a year.

At the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, a functioning model of the Transit Elevated Bus was revealed to the public. The proposed model is a bus that allows cars (less than 2 meters high) to drive underneath it.

As shown in the above animation, passengers would enter and exit the bus via ramps that unfold from the sides. The underside of the bus would have gates to stop traffic if required, and would have on its underside a simulation of the sky to prevent it from looking like a tunnel as car drivers pass though.

Not only will this bus design help reduce traffic congestion, it will also save fuel and lower air pollution levels in cities. Further addressing environmental concerns, the bus is powered by electricity and would replace approximately 40 conventional buses. The chief engineer of the project, Song Youzhou, states that the bus would be able to carry up to 1,400 passengers, and would save more than 800 tons of fuel per year. This would reduce carbon emissions by almost 2,500 tons!

A prototype of the bus is expected to be tested in Qinhuangdao this summer. Check out the video below of the scale model of the bus.

Blair Mullins graduated in 2012 from Queen’s University with a BScH in Environmental Science. Born and raised in Vancouver, Blair has always had a passion for protecting animals and preserving the environment. Blair joined the Eartheasy team in April of 2013, and specializes in email and social media marketing.

Posted in Science and Transportation Tags
  • WOW. I have never seen or heard of this before.

  • It is quite impressive indeed. I hope it doesn’t hinder visibility or cause disorientation while moving above the drivers.

Blog > Science and Transportation > Is this Innovative ‘Drive-Through Bus’ a Solution to Gridlock?