Mainstream Media Scammed Again On Transit

Zwei knew this was a scam from the start.

Well,  China’s miracle “straddling bus “; the bus that was going to solve urban transit woes with its revolutionary concept, has been deemed a scam!

Absolutely no surprise here.

What was sad to see and hear, was the number of politicians who got suckered by this. Anyone with a basic knowledge of transit operations would had called this bit of nonsense out, but no, they lauded it as revolutionary.

Since when scams become revolutionary?

I probably will not get an apology by the straddling bus crowd, even though they were very rude to me, including those in the mainstream media.

My only wish is the the MSM deal with real transit issues regionally and not ‘Tom Swift’ style transit fantasies.

China’s ‘straddling bus’ hits its final roadblock

A car drives past the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) on Fumin road in Qinhuangdao city, north China"s Hebei province, 21 June 2017.

 

Image copyright Photo by Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock

 

It seemed like a glimpse into the city of tomorrow – but China’s “straddling bus” was riddled by doubts early on and now is headed for the scrap yard.

The futuristic idea was a bus that would drive above traffic, allowing other commuter cars to pass underneath.

The project was announced last summer to much acclaim but soon ran into feasibility and investment problems.

Many of China’s cities suffer from chronic traffic congestion so there’s a strong hunger for ingenious solutions.

The project faced strong headwinds from the very beginning and according to Chinese media, the test site is now being demolished entirely.

Reports are saying that workers have already begun dismantling and removing the test track in Qinhuangdao.

TEB test tracks

 

Image copyright Getty Images

Image caption The TEB was to zoom above traffic, elevated 2 meters above the daily gridlock

 

The idea of a traffic-straddling bus first appeared in China in 2010, but it didn’t make much impact until the model was presented at the 2016 Beijing International High-Tech Expo.

The so-called Transit Elevated Bus was touted as a revolution in public ground transportation, able to glide over traffic, literally lifting commuters from the daily grind of being stuck in their cars for hours.

Yet only a few days after its much-lauded test-run in Qinhuangdao city, Hebei province, all test-runs had been halted and doubts began to emerge.

Many doubted the vehicle would be able to manage curves or fit under footbridges in Beijing, and critics have asked how it will turn corners, whether it is strong enough to bear its own and passengers’ weight and how long its battery would last.

There was also confusion about whether the project had ever been approved by the local authorities and there was even suspicion it could be an investment scam.

But the widespread interest in the idea did show that there’s an appetite for ideas that could help big cities out of the grip of the daily traffic gridlock – even if this one appears to have hit a final roadblock.

Comments

One Response to “Mainstream Media Scammed Again On Transit”
  1. Haveacow says:

    See guys I told you. This idea is brought out every 10-20 years or so. I did some research. The first mention of this transit system is in science fiction pulp magazines (both in Great Britain and the US) of the 30′s 40′s and 50′s. Usually every time the city of the future topic was brought up.

    Articles in several news magazines of the 50′s mentioned atomic powered buses that would either skim over top all traffic being supported by great posts lifting the vehicle off the ground above all the other traffic, or grand vehicles that would raise themselves overtop the traffic on great big legs with wheels on the bottom. Sometimes the wheels were self supporting on the road surface or they would run in some type of track on either side of the road. Either way, this large vehicle would straddle above the existing traffic flow usually in some type expressway/freeway environment.

    The next official mention is the late 60′s and early 70′s when the brand new Federal Mass Transit Administration in the US was actively investigating some type of new transit technology to show a very skeptical Nixon Administration that they should be wiped out of existence. This is the same era when the MTA, now the FTA, first defined what LRT (Light Rail Transit) actually was and what it is not. This also the period when “gadgetbahn” rapid transit systems like Monorails and Personal Rapid Transit were actively studied.

    As always fueled by the futurist magazines like “Omni” or Popular Mechanics, even sometimes serious transit and railway publications like, Metro, Mass Transit and Passenger Railway Journal versions of this technology appear at various points in the next few decades especially during the oil fueled, energy crisis’s of the early and late 70′s as well as the recession of the early 80′s. Britain was supposedly investigating this for their motorways from the late 50′s all the way to the 90′s. Germany also looked at this for the autobahn system.

    Now the Chinese have had this brought on themselves in the second decade of the 21st century. Welcome to the club boys and girls. Kudos to them though, they actually built a prototype vehicle and track just to see if it could be done!

    Whenever this idea was seriously looked at everyone eventually came to the same conclusions. Regardless of the road width, road vehicle height’s or standard heights of highway bridges, the same physical problem occurs. Any large vehicle like this super huge straddling highway bus that, just by its mode of travel alone, must raise its centre of gravity so that it can clear over top of other smaller vehicles around it, losing stability and therefore making it critical that its structural supports are very strong and has extra allowance for heavy materials which causes a series of fuel efficiency, manufacturing quality, operational reliability and other engineering issues. These vehicles will never be able to handle anything more than the most gentle of road curves unless the vehicle can become much wider than the highway right of way its uses or can spontaneously lower its centre of gravity on command, without damaging the road or the vehicles around it. Or it must slow down a lot! Which causes capacity and schedule reliability issues. These types of vehicles would require stations built in busy and extremely costly highway corridors that, public transit passengers at least in Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the northern 2/3 ‘s North America and Europe, have shown little or no interest to want to be in, or near on a regular basis. Other than that it is a great idea. Assuming its surface track footprint doesn’t take up too much lane space away from the cars and trucks around it. Which, was one of the many issues with the Chinese prototype vehicle and track system.

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