The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is a proposed new bus concept where a guided bus straddles above road traffic, giving it the alternative names such as straddling bus, straddle bus or tunnel bus by international media. The idea was first unveiled at the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May 2010. Although, a working scale model was showcased at the 2016 Beijing International High-tech Expo.
An electricity powered TEB has been tested for the first time in China on 3rd of August, 2016. In the test run the TEB was carrying some passengers over the traffic below, total capacity of a TEB is estimated to be similar to that of a Subway train. The 22 meter long, 7.8 meter wide and 4.8 meter high bus trundled along a 300 meter stretch of road in the city of Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, at a very slow speed for its test run. The finished version shall though hit the speed of around 40 mph.
Interior of the spacious bus looked like an airport departure lounge and can squeeze in 300 passengers at full capacity and if multiple carriages are linked together it can carry up-to 1,200 passengers at once. A toy sized model of the TEB was unveiled earlier this year at the High-tech expo. Though, it was just a test run and it still has a long way to go before TEB is put to real use. In its first test run the bus didn’t navigate any corners or deal with any tricky bits of road infrastructure such as crossroads, bridges or traffic lights.
This sixteen wheeled monster bus can be boarded by the passengers via elevated platforms on the roadside. “Its construction can be finished in one year,” said Bai Chiming, the engineer in charge of the TEB project. The bus will be running on rails embedded into the road surface, the elevated bus is one possible solution to China’s problems with traffic congestion. For safety concerns the bus will have alarms to warn cars traveling too close to it, and signals to warn other vehicles when it is about to turn. Inflatable evacuation slides similar to those of an aircraft will also be installed in the bus for emergency situations.
The bus will only cost about 10% of the cost of building an equivalent subway. The bus which was selected by the Times Magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of the year 2010, will soon be seen in different countries. The cities of Shijiazhuang, in Hebei province and Wuhu, in Anhui province has applied to obtain financing for the project. The city of Manaus, Brazil has also signed a letter of intent with the developers to create a straddling bus system. The TEB system has been criticized by a lot of people from the time of its first unveiling in 2010, But a professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Automotive Engineering, who took a personal initiative to conduct a design analysis stated that ” the design was basically feasible but not perfect.” Stay tuned for more updates on TEB.