I complain about traffic congestion a lot, until I am reminded that compared to some parts of the world, America has it easy. I could not imagine living in Moscow or Beijing, where four-hour traffic jams are the norm. China faces an especially daunting task as their population continues to expand and urbanize; you can only build so many highways and move so many people, and building new train lines is expensive and requires extensive planning.
Unless… you put the train right over existing highways. That is what one Chinese designer is proposing. And I think the idea has a lot of merit… if only he can figure out how to get around existing overpasses.
The concept calls for a bus/train (I’m not sure what it would qualify as) that “straddles” either side of the highway, passing right over cars. With 14 feet of clearance, even the tallest trucks should be able to fit right under neath as the electric-powered bus glides past traffic. Power would come from solar and other clean-energy sources (like hydro). The benefits are obvious; rather than building a whole new infrastructure, existing highways could be retrofitted with these straddling buses, removing cars from the highway while simultaneously increasing the number of people flowing along a certain route.
The problem again though, are overpasses. I doubt this bus will fit under most overpasses, which could make for a serious complication for a great idea. The idea was proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, who seems to think this bus could seriously relieve Beijing’s congested highways. Hopefully this idea makes it past the “cool plastic model” stage.
Chris DeMorro is a car enthusiast, blogger, and all-around crazy man who is as passionate about hybrids as he is about Hemis. You can follow his constant misadventures at Three Months In A Mustang.