Like most Americans, I hate traffic. Sometimes though, there just isn’t anyway to avoid it, especially if you commute to a congested city. You would think, with the millions of miles of highway stretching across the United States, somebody would have come up with a way of utilizing highways that didn’t involve cars. It took a Chinese designer to come up with a way to literally get around traffic.
I already brought you the story of the Chinese bus-train that would straddle highways and carry “hundreds” of passengers right over traffic. I just never expected it might actually come to the U.S.
To quickly rehash, The Straddling Bus was designed by Song Youzhou, who wants to start work on this interesting traffic-avoider sometime in 2011 in China. It is part train, part bus, and takes its passengers over traffic. He also is starting a U.S. company, called U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus, to work on bringing the Straddling Bus to U.S. cities. Spokesman for the group, Mark Shieh, said that “Relative to the cost of a subway line or other rail transit, our bus delivers extraordinary value. Aside from the low cost, the time for construction is about one third that for a subway.”
Sounds all well and good, but what about those pesky big rigs and overpasses that tend to dominate our highways? Hell, even some jacked-up Hummers might pose a problem for this unique idea, as the bus rides just eight-feet above traffic…though last I checked, Americans tend to drive some pretty tall cars and drive up some pretty low underpasses. Also, the average speed of just 25 to 50 mph isn’t very impressive, even if it is 100% electric. I’d rather take my chances with traffic.
I’m not saying this idea won’t work. I just want to know how they intend to get around all these problems.