Kez Casey | Aug 4, 2016

What rolls on tracks, can carry up to 300 passengers, and is powered by electricity? If you said a train you’d be spot-on.

But if you suggested that China’s unusual traffic-straddling Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) concept, first shown in 2010 was the way to go, you’d also be correct.

Although not yet launched in a full-scale capacity, TEB’s builder, Transit Explore Bus have started trials along the first kilometre section of the TEB’s proposed route through Qinhuangdao City in north China.

At 22 metres long, 7.8 metres wide, and 4.8 metres high, a top speed of 60 km/h and with enough capacity to replace up to 40 regular buses why an elevated bus instead of an actual train?

TEB claims that the elevated bus system is around one sixth of the cost of an underground subway, although it’s a little more shy about cost comparisons with an above-ground rail network.

You may have also noticed that the TEB presents a few technical challenges for taller vehicles, but Chinese authorities have that one covered too.

The proposed routes for TEB lines will see trucks, busses and other large vehicles that need to share the road segregated to their own lanes, so as to allow the TEB to operate without delay, although how strictly road users adhere to those regulations remains to be seen.

Raised platforms allow passengers to board and alight the TEB, while outboard barriers along the TEB’s tracks are designed to prevent vehicles from colliding with the drive hardware.

Other overseas cities in Indonesia, France, and India have also reportedly shown an interest in the TEB network, and will be sure to closely monitor the program’s success as it comes online in Qinhuandao.

Images: China Xinhua News

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