The Straddle bus project gained worldwide attention when it was shown at various trade fairs in 2016 and with coverage 2009 to 2016. The project was also covered at Nextbigfuture. Time listed the Straddle bus as one of the top 50 innovations of 2010.
The project was officially stopped last month. Police in Beijing have launched an investigation and arrested 32 people for illegal fundraising, as speculation mounts that rather than China’s next ambitious transit solution it was never much more than an elaborate investment scam.
The BBC reported Tuesday that among those arrested was Bai Zhiming, CEO of the Hebei-based Transit Elevated Bus Company (TEB), which was responsible for implementing the project. Zhimming, it noted, is also the founder of a peer-to-peer financing company called Huaying Kailai Asset Management. The 31 others arrested: all Zhimming’s employees there.