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China Plans Giant, Road-Straddling 'Buses' to Defeat Traffic

China thinks it may have a solution to its growing car and congestion problem: giant buses that straddle the road. Although calling these monstrosities "buses" seem misguided (as they run on tracks, and independently of other street traffic), it's obvious that they could greatly increase the speed and quality of your average Beijing commute. The shuttles arch over the road, allowing other vehicles to pass underneath. When the "bus" stops, it doesn't slow the movement of traffic. By using available space between traffic lanes and dividers, the "straddling" buses are able to keep costs down. One estimate puts the price of one "bus" and 40 km of track (about 25 miles) at just 10-percent the cost of a subway train on a 40-km track. (We think they're more like trolleys, anyway.) Since it's powered by solar and existing electrical infrastructure, it's better for the environment than a gas-burning auto.

Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment, the company behind the design, plans to begin construction on the first 115-mile section of track in the Mentougou district of Beijing by year's end. You can watch a presentation (in Chinese) of the system after the break, but check out the source link for a translation. [From: ChinaHush, via: Engadget]

Tags: Beijing, bus, car tech, CarTech, china, commute, green, green tech, GreenTech, top, traffic, transportation, trolley, urbanplanning