UPDATED on July 12, 2017:
Turns out, the promising TEB project we were all so excited about was apparently a scam: after being seen driving around a few times as proof of its testing period, the mega bus has since been collecting dust on its test track in the middle of the street.
It is thus not surprising that Beijing Police has come out and said that it was all a scam – they are now holding 30 people linked to the company behind the project, Huyaing Kailai.
While the whole affair is still a little unclear, it seems like this innovative bus is not going to see the light anytime soon. In the midst of all the drama, other glitches were identified: any vehicle taller than 2.2 meters (around 7ft) could not pass under the TEB.
Vehicles would also have had to wait for the mega bus to complete its maneuver when going around corners. And lastly, no one had thought about what would happen if cars drove into the sides of the bus – mmmh, seems like there is still a lot to work on...
Original article below:
What if China had really found a solution to its perennial problem of excessive traffic? In May, China presented the functioning model of a giant bus on rails at an exhibition. A bus towering above the streets and able to carry up to 1200 passengers.
According to Xinhua, the company Transit Explore Bus (TEB) has now entered the test phase of the project. So this mega bus is real: it is called TEB-1 and, at the time of writing, it is already in use in the city of Qinhuangdao in north-east China.
Although the first prototype is obviously not designed to carry 1200 actual passengers, the TEB-1 nevertheless already looks like something out of a Judge Dredd or Batman comic: it’s 72 feet long, 16 feet tall and 26 feet wide, with a capacity of 300 passengers perched above the traffic. Two cars can easily pass underneath the vehicle side by side.
For China, the TEB-1 is a promising solution to the environmental problems caused by the explosion of the number of drivers in the country. The bus, running on electricity, could replace up to 40 conventional vehicles.
We can't imagine we'll be seeing the mega bus anytime soon though, or can we?