Many countries have probably dreamed of it, China did it: an anti-traffic bus. The project was presented during a test performed at the high-tech fair in Beijing.
In order to avoid traffic jams, this mega bus forms a two-meter high bridge above the road and is wide enough to let two lines of cars pass underneath. It is also very long – 22 meters – and can carry about 1,400 passengers. The bus would require special elevated stations for people to get in and out. It is also equipped with emergency slides like those in aircraft in case of an accident. With its futuristic and minimal design, the bus can reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h and runs exclusively on electric power.
Criticism from Chinese government
The project was mostly ignored by international media, but many criticisms came from the official Chinese press. The first concern brought up is the length of the bus that would be a problem when turning. It would also be unable to go under bridges.
Another problem is the cost: this project is very expensive. The company that designed it said they need more than 500 million dollars to make it happen. They would need partners in local governments and investors as well, and that is the real problem. Indeed, the government does not seem to support the project for the reasons above and also because the company didn’t advise the local authority about the project.
Support from the people
On Weibo – the Chinese Twitter – Internet users were more supportive. Firstly because China is facing a major pollution problem and this environment-friendly bus appears as an attempt to solve this problem. Secondly, there are already too many cars on the roads and traffic jams are a recurring issue in China. In 2010, one traffic jam even lasted for 10 days!
This anti-cap bus would be a great solution; this is probably why the prestigious American magazine Time chose the Chinese mega bus as one of the best inventions of 2010, year of its creation.