Can This New Bus System Really Reduce Traffic Jams In China?

A closer look at a big idea.

In order to curb emissions in the most populated country in the world, China is leading the way in electric transportation. One thing eco-friendly buses don't do, however, is cut down on the amount of congestion on the road. A Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus believes they have solved the problem.

The bus they have conceptualized is elevated by tracks on the side of the road, giving it the ability to travel directly above cars without slowing down traffic. Instead of typical street-level bus stops, the passenger stations can be reached by elevator. After picking up its riders, the bus can travel up to 37 miles per hour to its next stop along the route.

The developers claim this system would be significantly cheaper than creating a typical subway system, but it is not known how the cost compares to an ordinary monorail. However, each of these "straddle buses" can hold 1,400 passengers, four times the number of typical buses. 

See it in action here: 

Of course, the video does raise some interesting questions. 

In the animation, the bus actually bends around the corners, which would be quite impossible for an actual rigid structure. If the real bus turns in segments like a train, it will likely clip vehicles underneath as it makes the turns.

Additionally, the bus leaves 6.5 feet of clearance underneath it, but there are concerns about what will happen when it comes across larger than average vehicles, like delivery or construction trucks.

The system is set to be tested this summer in Qinhuangdao City, so it will be interesting to see how these, and other logistical concerns, are addressed.

(H/T: Popular Mechanics)