>A Chinese company (Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd) has come up with an awesome new type of public transportation, which they call a 3D fast bus, or straddling bus. The bus can run on rails or use an autopilot program that follows special lines drawn on the road. The bus bridges or ‘straddles’ a two-lane road allowing cars to pass underneath, and so avoids impeding traffic flow. It is estimated the bus could reduce traffic jams by 25%-30%. It draws power from charging posts that run along the top of the bus, and also uses solar power.
The bus has a top speed of 60 km/h, a 1200 passenger capacity, and a complicated warning system to deal with other drivers. These 3D bus lines usually cost 90% less than an equivalent amount of subway line, and take about a third of the time to build. Maybe the coolest feature of all is the “huge skylight that will eliminate passengers’ sense of depression.”(chinahush.com)
A pilot program is scheduled for later this year in Beijing. While the practicality of this type of system depends on the individual city, it does provide a good alternative especially where subway lines are not viable. Public reaction might be mixed as people may think driving through a bus is a little crazy. (treehugger.com)