May 24, 2016

Full scale Straddle bus is being built and will undergo testing in July and August

A Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus is currently building a life-size model of the Straddle bus in Changzhou and they plan to test it in July or August.

Different versions will carry up to 1,200 passengers, with the larger versions being articulated to facilitate going around curves.

The bus will run along a fixed route, and its passenger compartment spans the width of two traffic lanes. Its undercarriage rides along the edges of the two lanes it straddles and the overall height is 4 to 4.5 m (13.1 to 14.8 ft). Vehicles lower than 2 m (6.6 ft) high will be able to pass underneath the bus, reducing the number of traffic jams caused by ordinary buses loading and unloading at bus stops.

Passengers on board the bus are expected to experience a ride comparable to riding in the upper level of a double decker bus. They will board and alight at stations at the side of the road with platforms at the bus floor height similar to stations of an elevated railway, or via stairs descending through the roof of the bus from a station similar to a pedestrian overpass. The bus will be electrically powered using overhead lines or other roof electrical contact systems designed for it, supplemented with photovoltaic panels, batteries or supercapacitors on board. It will travel at up to 60 km/h (37 mph)

The 3D Express Coach (straddling bus, straddle bus, or tunnel bus) was a proposed new bus designed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company back in 2010. It was recognized by Time magazine as the innovation of the year in 2010.

A proposed trial project was to cost about 500 million yuan (~US$74.5 million) to build the bus with a 40 km (25 mi) guideway. This is claimed to be at 10% of the cost of building an equivalent subway, and is estimated to reduce traffic congestion by 20–30%. The Chairman of the company has said that it would only take a year for one to be built. 115 mi (185 km) of track was set for construction in the Mentougou District of Beijing for late 2010. The cities of Shijiazhuang, in Hebei Province, and Wuhu, in Anhui Province, were applying for financing.

There was a video in 2013 with refinements to the engineering. The video is by China TBS limited (which is a large shipping company).

The bus will have alarms to warn cars traveling too close to it, and signals to warn other vehicles when it is about to turn. It would have inflatable evacuation slides similar to those of an aircraft. Optional features could include sensors to keep it from colliding with a person or object (such as an overheight vehicle in front), warning lights and safety curtains at the rear to keep drivers of overheight vehicles from going underneath, repeater traffic signals underneath to relay the indications of traffic signals up ahead, and animated light displays to simulate stationary objects to prevent disorientation of drivers underneath.

Youzhou Song, the bus’s designer, estimates that it could replace up to 40 conventional buses, potentially saving 860 tons of fuel and avoiding 2,640 tons of carbon emissions that those 40 buses would produce in a yea

SOURCES - Wikipedia, youtube, Xinhua

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