Megabus Update

BBC News – The straddle bus design was announced nearly two years ago but has seemingly stalled.

We reported on it in 2010.

It is now called the 3D Fast Bus. It is to be built by the Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company. This prototype behemoth could carry up to 1,000 passengers its designers believe. But its most innovative feature is not its size, but its design. It is designed to skip traffic problems by straddling the road, allowing it to cruise over gridlocked traffic or allowing traffic to flow underneath it when it is stopped. Passengers ride in a cabin 5 meters above the ground, on wheels supported on streamlined stilts. Its designers say the electric bus could reduce traffic jams by up to 30%, and cost only 10% of the price of a subway to build.

Stalled Straddle megabus

Superlong megabus

Two cities – Beijing and Hangzhou – have just announced that they will take delivery of fleets of what could be the world’s largest bus named Youngman JNP6250G.

The massive mover will carry up to 300 passengers at a time and will have two concertinaed sections to allow it to turn corners like a regular bus is 25meter (82ft) long – around 13meter longer than a regular bus. To ensure they cut through urban traffic they will use dedicated lanes in both cities, something that may allow drivers to test their top speed. One driver reportedly told the Chinese Youth Daily newspaper that he reached 51mph (82km/h) on a drive from Zhejiang Province to Shanghai.

Other Megabusses

Curitiba, capital of the Brazilian state of Parana, operates the Ligeirao Azul bus – a snaking monster that is 3m (10ft) longer than its Chinese rival but carries 50 fewer passengers. It is one of a handful of bus designs that cruise the streets of Curitiba, each with a different function. The biodiesel-fuelled Ligeirao Azul, for example, is a “Fast Transit” system that uses exclusive lanes and have priority at traffic signals in an attempt to cut down on journey times. It is part of an exclusively bus-based transport system that has won worldwide acclaim. In fact, the bus scheme has been s successful that it is estimated that 80% of the city’s residents now use the service – something that has helped reduce congestion, pollution and commuter frustration.

Other challengers to the megabus crown include a 24.7m (80ft) Trolleybus that operates in Zurich, Switzerland. As well as their giant size, all of these behemoths share another common feature – they are articulated, or bendy, single-decker buses.

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