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'Straddling bus' headed to U.S.?

Earlier this year we reported that a Chinese company was working on building a "bus" that will actually straddle traffic.

Now reader Scott Knight has passed along this interesting tidbit from Wired magazine's Autopia blog: The "straddling bus" may be coming to the United States.

According to the Autopia report, Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., has formed a U.S. company to explore opportunities to build and sell the bus, which is more like a giant train on ice skates, here. A pilot project is currently planned for a district in Beijing.

The blog ChinaHush reported earlier this year that the bus could carry 1200 people, travel about 25 mph and run on electricity and solar power. It would be about 20 feet wide and 13 feet high. It could replace up to 40 regular buses.

Such a project in the United States would face enormous hurdles: safety regulations, arranging financing, retrofitting infrastructure. But company officials have said the cost is a better value than a traditional subway and takes less time to build.

Imagine what a fleet of these would look like ringing the Capital Beltway or traveling I-66.

What do you think? Post a comment below.

By Michael Bolden  | October 27, 2010; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Metro, Transportation News  
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I think it would great! I remember seeing this earlier this year. But, it would take a lot of money. I'm not sure if we have the financial and political will to attempt it.

Posted by: linroy62 | October 27, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to solving our traffic problems. This bus is a good example of finding a different type of solution, but unless we were able to completely build a new city from scratch, it just doesn't seem practical. If it was tall and wide enough for trucks and vans to pass underneath, it wouldn't fit under existing bridges, stop lights, power lines and trees.

Although a bus can take cars off of the road, their constant stopping and blocking a lane of traffic is equally a problem. It would be great if there was a way to pass the stopped bus without having to change lanes.

One feature of a train is that the first and last car start moving at the same time. I always thought if there was a way to get all cars moving when the light turns green, it should be possible to move traffic through the intersection faster. Cars need speed sensors that allow them to follow behind the car infront and accelerate/decelerate automatically as needed.

Posted by: mikebecvar | October 27, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

If Metro bus drivers drive these things it will be a disaster.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The speed of these buses is quite limited. They might be OK going in the peak direction during rush hour, but the idea of a bus going 25 mph on the Beltway outside of rush hour sounds rather dangerous to me, even if other vehicles can pass under the bus.

Posted by: 1995hoo | October 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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