A city in China has become the first proving ground for a giant street-straddling bus meant to smooth out transit problems and potentially help traffic woes.
The transit-elevated bus, or TEB, made its debut in the city of Qinhuangdao east of Beijing this month, according to the state-sponsored Xinhua News Agency. The bus is more than 15 feet high, 25 feet wide and 72 feet long, and can carry up to 300 passengers.
The “bus,” which actually runs on rails, is tall enough for cars to pass underneath. That gives it the ability to transport people without taking up space in the street or having to wait behind other vehicles — a problem in the U.S. that transit agencies have sought to address with the bus rapid transit concept.
According to Xinhua, the pilot test helped evaluate the TEB’s braking system, drag and power consumption.
Though the news agency said governments in Brazil, India, France and Indonesia are all interested in the bus, the U.S. has its own share of futuristic concepts to help address transit and transportation needs — whether that means shooting people along the sides of buildings in personal pods or rocketing them along a pressurized tube for hundreds of miles between cities.